Top News

•  SOE’s Katy Wiswall Named Baylor Outstanding Staff Member
•  New EdD in K-12 Educational Leadership Launched
•  Check out the Distinguished Scholars Day Photos
•  Two Baylor SOE Faculty Members Selected for ATE Fellows Program
•  SOE Grad Dr. Michael McFarland is Texas Superintendent of the Year
•  Winter 2015 Impact is on the Web
•  New Roles for Dr. Joel Porter and Lindsey Freed
•  On-Campus Interviews Scheduled for Dean Candidates
•  SOE Alumni Featured in Wacoan Magazine
•  Dean Search Committee Begins Interview Process
•  Baylor School of Education Prepares Leaders
•  A Look Back: SOE Highlights from 2014
•  SOE graduate to head Kentucky Community and Technical College System
•  Learning Leadership
•  SOE Students Share Christmas Cheer
•  BU Graduates Achieve 100 Percent Pass Rate on Texas Teacher Certification Exams
•  Back to School Lessons
•  Raising Funds for Costa Rica Partner School
•  Read about the SOE on
•  SOE Graduate Student Quoted in Killeen Daily Herald
•  SOE Hosts "Distinguished Scholars Day"
•  Update from the Dean Search Committee
•  SOE Dean Wins Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award
•  Scenes from the Homecoming Tailgate
•  Dr. Tyler Cooper, CEO of Cooper Aerobics, to give Fall 2014 Distinguished Lecture for School of Education
•  SOE Grad Wins AATC Honor for Dissertation
•  SOE Hosts Annual GT Conference for Educators
•  Dept. of Educational Administration Hosts Area Administrators
•  SOE Hosts Mathematics Education Conference
•  Baylor Education Dean Search Committee Seeks Input
•  Educators from “Down Under” Visit SOE
•  SOE Senior Wins Statewide Scholarship
•  Dr. Joel Porter Named Baylor Football Legend
•  School of Education presents Baylor signs to three Midway ISD Professional Development Schools
•  Two SOE Teacher Candidates Honored as “Exemplary”
•  SOE prof Dr. Brooke Blevins featured in Wacoan
•  SOE Preservice Teachers Receive State Scholarships
•  Education Will Be Focus of New Living-Learning Center
•  Search Committee Selected for SOE Dean Search
•  SOE Grad Named Regional Superintendent of the Year
•  Texas Private School Teachers and Administrators Gather at Baylor
•  Video: Students "Dig" University for Young People!
•  SOE Dean Jon Engelhardt Announces Retirement
•  SOE Grad Awarded Big 12 Post-Graduate Scholarship
•  Two SOE Alumni Honored by Waco ISD
•  Scenes from the “Celebrating Exceptional Stars Gala” for BARC and CARE
•  Baylor Regents Approve Formation of College of Health and Human Sciences
•  Baylor SOE Candidates Work with Hillcrest GT Students
•  Dr. Susan Johnsen Receives Prestigious Award from Council for Exceptional Children
•  SOE “Connecting Content” Project Featured on Waco PD Website
•  May 10 Gala will Benefit Autism Services and Research
•  SOE Puppet Masters Featured in Waco Tribune-Herald
•  Two Memorable Teachers/Mentors Honored by Baylor School of Education
•  Baylor School of Education Honors Outstanding Seniors
•  SOE Grad Student Elected to AERA Graduate Student Council
•  Baylor School of Education and Midway ISD announce two new Professional Development Schools
•  Baylor SOE Students and Programs Receive Statewide Recognition
•  Longtime HHPR prof inducted into SWC Hall of Fame
•  SOE Seniors Try to Solve Real-Life Teaching Problems Through Research
•  Baylor University and McLane Children’s Scott & White Partner to Open Center for Developmental Disabilities
•  Journalist Says the System, not the Teachers, Should be Blamed
•  Superintendent Partnership with Baylor SOE Receives Statewide Recognition
•  Goodloe signs “Before Brittney” at Baylor Bookstore
•  Action Research Symposium for Teaching Interns on April 1
•  HHPR Chair Dr. Paul Gordon Releases Research on Teen Obesity and Health Risks in The Journal of Pediatrics
•  Animal-Assisted Therapy Volunteers Visit HHPR Class
•  School of Education Professor Dr. Tony Talbert Honored for Qualitative Research
•  Journalist Ron Berler to speak March 26
•  Baylor Round Table visits SOE
•  Team led by SOE's Dr. Trena Wilkerson wins national award
•  Mock Interviews Prepare Teacher Ed Seniors for Professional Careers
•  SOE Graduate Dub Oliver Named President of Union University
•  SOE Grad Speaks in Baylor Chapel
•  SOE Professor Leads Local Settlement House Effort
•  Citizenship Goes Digital: SOE Researchers Find Online Gaming Effective in Teaching Civics Education
•  Expert on John Dewey to Speak at School of Education Feb. 6
•  School of Education's BARC Hosts Meeting of Special Needs Service Providers
•  School of Education Hosts Regional TAFE Conference
•  SOE Grad Brings Art to Students
•  School of Education Sophomore Earns Spot on Mexican U-20 National Soccer Team
•  HHPR Chair Dr. Paul Gordon Named to Expert List
•  Five SOE students earn All-America Football Honors
•  SOE Grad Robert Durón Assumes Leadership Role at TASB
•  A Farewell to Floyd Casey Stadium:
•  Baylor Professor Named State Advocate for the Gifted
•  Baylor SOE Professor Elected to National Board
•  Veterans, advocates lobby for improved education benefits
•  Baylor SOE Grads Present Research at CSOTTE
•  SOE Hosts Alumni for Homecoming
•  SOE Alums Heed the Call to Zambia
•  School of Education Professor Earns Faculty Member of the Year Award at Education Conference
•  Ted Powers Receives Prestigious Award for Excellence and Leadership
•  School of Education Welcomes Scholarship Donors
•  Baylor student gives life to stranger
•  Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation to Host Sports Medicine Lecture
•  Faculty kids embracing home life on Baylor campus
•  Meet Student Needs by Understanding Their Lives First
•  Talking to Teens 101 for Parents
•  Lindale assistant superintendent named president-elect for TEPSA

Journalist Says the System, not the Teachers, Should be Blamed

March 28, 2014

Teachers are not to blame for the problems in America’s schools, journalist Ron Berler told a group on the Baylor campus Wednesday, March 26. Berler spent a year imbedded in a public school fifth-grade classroom, reporting on the issues and challenges facing America’s schools. His book, Raising the Curve, is the story of the characters at Brookside Elementary in Norwalk, Conn., and their challenges during that year.

Berler’s presentation, and a noon conversation that same day, were sponsored by the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in Baylor’s School of Education. Berler also autographed copies of Raising the Curve after each lecture.

During his visit to campus, Berler drew media attention from Waco NPR affiliate KWBU, TV news Channel 25 KXXV anchor Bruce Gietzen, and the Baylor Lariat.

The media outlets also interviewed SOE professor Dr. Tony Talbert; freshman education student Trevor Taylor was part of the KXXV broadcast.

Berler said the primary problems plaguing America’s schools are systemic, citing the lack of parental involvement, lack of readiness in kindergarten, and the prevalence of high-stakes, punitive testing as reasons that schools are classified as “failing.”

“I can’t tell you how many interviewers have asked me, ‘What’s the one thing that will fix it?’” Berler said. “Well there’s not one thing, and since there’s not one thing, they blame the teachers. It’s harsh and it’s not deserved, because of the hard work teachers do.”

Berler said he would like to see every parent spend just an hour in the classroom each school year. “If they see how teachers teach, maybe you guys would not take such heat, because people would appreciate what you do,” he told a crowd that included professors and students from the School of Education.

Berler saves his most harsh comments for the standardized testing demanded through the federal “No Child Left Behind” program. He said that real teaching virtually stops in every public school classroom in January, while teachers must spend nine weeks teaching student exactly how to answer specific test questions. The punitive nature of the system makes the test ineffective, he said.

Berler suggested that people who want to make a difference should vote on the school board members in their community, vote them out of office if they don’t like what they are doing, or run for office themselves. —Meg Cullar

Click the images below to see photos from Berler’s visit to Baylor.

Ron Berler - Raising the Curve

Berler 1
Berler 2
Berler 3
Berler 4
Berler 5
Berler 6
Berler 7
Berler 8
Berler 9