One of the definite downsides of the education reform movement is that some of the changes damage teacher morale. Here’s a depressing graph taken from survey data reported in the Digest of Education Statistics. Look at the upsurge in the fraction of teachers worried about losing their jobs as a result of testing.
In the most recent data, just under half of teachers feel that testing results put their jobs at risk. Now the fact is that teachers almost never risk their jobs over anything. (More on this next time.) The fact that teachers worry about losing jobs is bad news. You just can’t inspire employees by threatening them–at least not professionals, at least not over the long haul.