Education — January 29, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Yet another teacher speaks out about mistreatment of students in the EAA. Contact me if you’re the next.

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NOTE: My reporting on the Education Achievement Authority involves multiple posts. You can read all of my coverage of the EAA by clicking HERE.

EAA Chancellor John Covington released a report of his personal investigation into the allegations in my reporting which you can read about HERE.

Below is yet another account from an Education Achievement Authority teacher, left in the comments of my original post (HERE), and describing the horrendous situation that is happening in EAA schools.

On February 13th, the board of the Educational Achievement Authority will meet it is widely believed that EAA Chancellor John Covington will simply dismiss these accounts as coming from disgruntled teachers or that they are made up because they are from anonymous sources. In order to counter this, it would be extremely helpful for former and current teachers and parents of former and current students to testify to the veracity of these claims. If you are willing to go on the record to support the claims made here on my site, please contact me as soon as possible. I would love to give you a voice here at Eclectablog and can put you in contact with people who can ensure that your voice is heard by the EAA board.

Thanks,
Chris


I taught at one of the EAA schools during the district’s first year of operation. Chaos and lack of structure are understatements. The teachers I worked with were under such stress and had no support to address discipline issues that they resorted to physical and verbal abuse. Two of the teachers would make students exercise during detention while they turned the thermostat up to 80 degrees during the summer months. A student actually died of a sudden seizure that may have been heat induced.

Special needs students complained that one teacher would spank them or throw shoes at them if they talked out of turn. Teachers would bully special needs students with emotional or cognitive impairments. Often teachers would place students on informal suspensions in violation of federal IDEA guidelines. Several special needs students were placed on part-time schedules by untrained teachers who could not handle behavior and had little training on how to support these students academically. Other abuses by teachers included:

  • Making students remove shoes and clothing items to borrow pencils or other basic supplies.
  • One teacher would knock over desks when she was angry with unruly students and joke about her abuses during staff meetings.
  • Making fun of special needs students’ physical or emotional impairments during staff meetings
  • Duck-taping students’ mouths closed
  • Allowing middle school students to verbally/physically bully special needs students who misbehaved in class.
  • One teacher would let students “fight it out” in class. A male student was assaulted so brutally during this teacher’s reading class that his eye was closed shut and one side of his face was swollen for two weeks. The parent filed a restraining order and this teacher was investigated by the police. Amazingly she is still employed at the school.
  • The EAA requires students to attend mandatory summer school. Two teachers did not want to teach summer school so they told their homeroom students that summer school was optional. Only 10% of their students showed up for summer school and were considered truant for three months. The principal suddenly resigned during the summer months so these teachers were not held accountable for the missing students during the summer months.
  • If teachers found a particular student “challenging” or incorrigible she would just issue an informal suspension until parents were forced to pull students from school.
  • Because first year teachers (and seasoned) had no curricular materials and no training for utilizing the Buzz platform (online curriculum) students were encouraged to color or fill out worksheets
  • Teachers who had no formal training or who held interim teaching certificates had absolutely no understanding of grade-level content require ments, appropriate instructional strategies, assessments or interventions. I actually had several “teachers” who never heard the terms scope and sequence, curriculum and state content standards.
  • I had several special needs students in my classroom, but never received their IEPs or support from the special education teacher in our building. Half of them were placed on part-time schedules by the end of the year.
  • judyms9

    I wonder what the EAA administration would have to say about these very specific allegations. And it does appear that there must be parents in those districts who could attest to some of these circumstances.
    Are the teachers in question here union teachers? Is this some kind of EAA setup to blame the teachers en masse for the conduct of some? Where does the buck stop in these schools?

    • No, EAA teachers are not unionized.

      • teeky2

        If they WERE union, they wouldn’t be getting away with this stuff!
        Duct-taping kids’ mouths shut was the method used by national reformer Michelle Rhee. Sounds more like a holding pen than a school environment. Fully trained and certified teachers would help, for step one. This should be fully investigated.

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