Video: Standardized Testing, Bullying, Charter School System to Blame for Texas Teacher-Student Beatdown

Have you seen the video of that teacher at a Texas charter school who gave a kid an ass-stompin' beatdown? Well, via Yahoo, the teacher -- Sherri Davis -- went on Good Morning America today. It was fairly convincing, but a few elements in the narrative that are pretty important to understanding this thing get grazed over quite quickly.

Sherri Davis notes that:

(A) The kid was a bully, a problem education experts can't seem to understand and/or handle, and a problem parents never want to admit to. I'd buy it.

(B) It was standardized testing day -- a day when teachers' cumulative efforts to produce a series of "standards" (something education experts have long dismissed as a plague on educators and education) -- and shit had already hit the fan with a fight being broken up prior to this that Davis also had to attend to, because of the lack of sufficient security. At a place that shouldn't be insufficient in security. Because ...

(C) This all happened at a charter school for kids with disciplinary problems. Davis then goes on to note that she didn't have "sufficient training" for this, which sounds like a cop-out, and almost is, except for the question it raises: Are teachers supposed to be inherently sufficient disciplinarians? Because every awful teacher in high school most people have ever had actually do carry that assumption. They're wrong to, but they can't be blamed, especially in a situation like this.

What they can be blamed for, however, is beating the shit out of a kid instead of walking out of a classroom. Which the school's two-time Teacher of the Year -- Sherri Davis -- seems to understand. Hopefully this tape and circumstance will be preserved and studied by education experts to garner knowledge about the state of American education. It will likely just go to die in an echo chamber of punditry and the YouTube hall of fame. Which is sad.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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