Jefferson County Participates in Public Viewing of “American Teacher”

by Devin Katayama on March 27, 2012

Several Kentucky communities are hosting viewings Tuesday evening of a film that will be used to discuss the importance of having and keeping good teachers.

The film “American Teacher” is a project by Oscar winner Vanessa Roth. It offers a look at the education system through the eyes of four teachers.

“We’re really hoping that we get a good conversation started across the state of Kentucky to let people start to really take a look at why we’re losing good teachers from the profession,” Stu Silberman, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

Several educational organizations are supporting the viewing including the Jefferson County Teacher’s Association.

President Brent McKim said the new state accountability system implemented this school year still teaches students to a test, which doesn’t promote the best educational opportunities for children, he said. He hopes the film will stimulate thought.

“So as we have conversations about evaluation, as we have conversations about school improvement, we’re all approaching the conversation with a better understanding,” he said.

McKim said most teachers agree there needs to be some form of teacher assessments, but the current models using test scores don’t meet the need that supports teacher improvement.

“And if we can understand that better and have conversations about it maybe we can devise a better way of approaching that accountability where it doesn’t lead to a narrowing of the curriculum and where it doesn’t lead to teaching to the test under such high pressure,” said McKim.

There are some teachers that “aren’t cutting it” and that do need to leave the profession, said Silberman. But, he said, that is a small percentage.

The following locations will screen the film:

Bowling Green: Bowling Green Junior High School, 900 Campbell Lane
Corbin: Corbin High School, 1901 Snyder Street (movie will be shown March 26 instead)
Northern Kentucky: Dixie Heights High School, 3010 Dixie Highway
Elizabethtown: 323 Morningside Drive
Lexington: Northeast Christian Church, 990 Star Shoot Parkway
Louisville: Gheens Academy, 4425 Preston Highway (movie will be shown on March 27 and March 29)
Morehead: Morehead State University, Button Auditorium, Battson Avenue
Owensboro: Daviess County High, 4255 New Hartford Road
Paducah: Paducah Tilghman High School, 2400 Washington Street
Prestonsburg: Big Sandy Community and Technical College

To register for the event click here.

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