TEACHER ATTRITION ANSWERS
Thursday, November 4, 2004
Dear Ms. Johnson and others interested in stopping teacher attrition,
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Karen Horwitz. I am a former teacher who co founded NAPTA, National Association for the Prevention of Teacher Abuse, the first group organized to expose the truth about our dismal public education system. I was directed to your web site :, by one of the members of our group. I can assure you that any study regarding the attrition of teachers that does not include research on the secret dirty practice of teacher abuse will be ineffective in terms of curbing attrition.
Our web site, EndTeacherAbuse.org, has extensive information to enlighten your group as to why this attrition occurs.
Ed Fuller's statement, "The only factor that equalized the rates [attrition] was certification scores. Those scoring in the top third of test-takers had quite high attrition rates and the rates for alt cert and traditional teachers were roughly the same. However, a greater proportion of traditional teachers than alt cert teachers scored in the top third (alt cert teachers tend to score lower on the Texas certification exams, esp on the subject matter exams)," can be easily explained. The reason teachers scoring in the top third of test-takers had a high attrition rate is because these are the teachers who have the intelligence to remove themselves from a profession that is totally corrupt. In addition, they have the ability to learn another profession, whereas those with less ability fear they could not rise to the demands of another field. Women's lib has freed bright women with other viable career choices and only those born with a calling for teaching or those figuring it is a two year stint before having babies seem to chose teaching. But once they find out that the true model for teachers is "teacher as slave," they are out of there unless they never had any intention of developing teaching as a profession.
You most likely believe I am exaggerating since as a highly educated teacher myself, I have studied brain based research and know the fact that any new concept must attach to a known concept in order for a student to learn.
There is no scaffolding in place for the public to understand how or why this could be. Most people have no concept and thus no ability to believe teacher abuse could be going on with no one knowing, particularly since why would administrators want to dispose of good teachers? Like child abuse forty years ago, and priest abuse five years ago, it is an unbelievable phenomenon. That is why we formed NAPTA. It must be believed to be stopped since it is the single biggest reason for teacher attrition, and one of the primary reasons are schools are so dysfunctional. And most importantly, what is even harder to believe, the primary reason teachers are being abused is corruption that needs to be hidden under the safety net of terrorized teachers who won't talk.
Yes, corruption. Think in terms of Enron and the need to hide criminal activity within an organization and how that necessitates keeping the bottom of the structure unaware of the truth. Since parents are essentially at the bottom of the structure, and teachers really care about children, if teachers told the truth about the lies and spins they are forced to partake in, the structure would collapse. Some teachers have advocated for children against their orders to do otherwise and tell parents the truth, and then they gravitate to NAPTA because once they break the silence, the political assassination process is thorough and effective. No one anywhere close to the system hears from them again, or we should say "heard," since NAPTA is changing this. Our collective voice will be heard.
I will be very happy to discuss this with you. I have eleven years of teaching experience in addition to other business experience including having been a director of marketing for educational films. I graduated from high school in the top 5% of my class and University of Illinois, Champaign, with honors in 1966 and earned my Masters' degree as a Reading Specialist in 1992. I have raised three children, one still in college, another a professor in anthropology who graduated from Yale on a NSF scholarship, and an attorney who is a partner in a major law firm. My success as a teacher was documented and even the board president testified that I was an excellent teacher, but was being terminated for insubordination and unprofessionalism. Professional in education means taking orders and doing what you are told even when you know it is unethical, immoral and illegal. Whereas Staff Sergeant Frederick was recently jailed for not knowing right from wrong, teachers are cleansed from the system for thinking they have the right to do what is right. Without the money to litigate or the time to take this Goliath structure on, they just disappear.
I work at this full time with no income. That is a luxury few teachers have and surely the powers that be have remained confident that they were safe as who would figure out a way to expose them without money or power? Teachers are at the lowest strata of our "professional" society.
Recently I started studying the law so I could represent myself pro se after spending $300,000 on lawyers who were either incompetent or sabotaged my case against my district that had terminated me on false charges. I handed in an appellate brief this month that sums up precisely why teachers leave teaching. The constitution does not apply to teachers and since we are the people who teach the constitution, the conflict is irreconcilable, not to mention that being subjected to abuse has severely crippled every teacher who is a member of our group. Post traumatic stress disorder is rampant amongst our members, all of whom were amongst the most dedicated and successful teachers in the profession, with awards to prove this.
Please check out our website. We have teacher stories on the site. However, they only represent about 20% of the stories we need to get posted. We are a volunteer organization and progress has been slow. But we have nearly 300 members after having a site up for two years. We intend to get all their stories up there and eventually appear on television so that we can begin the process of teaching the public the truth about teaching. No reform, no success, no hope exists until teacher abuse is factored in since it is the reason as well as it hides the reason our schools don't work. Joseph and Jo Blase, two education professors from U. of Georgia have had the vision to research teacher abuse. Their book is being sold on our site. Harvard needs to become familiar with the cutting edge research in education, which they are doing. Until their research is connected to your research, research will be arranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. Talk to us and find out about the iceberg.
I am blind copying members of our group on this to encourage them to contact you also, so you will see this is not one person's imagination. Many are too afraid to have their names out there, but some, like myself, have nothing more to lose and have dedicated themselves to exposing the truth. I am also attaching a copy of my appellate brief so you can see exactly what happens when a teacher has the audacity to stand up for doing what is right for children - something we were incorrectly told was our job when we studied this profession. I am also attaching a copy of a case just decided on behalf of another member who was awarded one million dollars for being abused by her district for speaking out on behalf of children. Her decision has been out since April.
No one heard about it. There are a few other successful cases we have documented. No one heard about them. Each time a teacher wins people think it is an aberration - that school had a problem. The media does not feature the case as an indication of a systematic failure. We hear about O'Reilly, but not about the thugs who are running our schools. That needs to change since it appears that more than half of our schools abuse their teachers. Education is the only major institution with no methods of accountability in place. NCLB is merely another way to abuse teachers by making them teach to the test when they know this is ineffective. But it certainly lines the pocket of those selling testing materials, the other Haliburton.
Furthermore, the majority of our teachers were either denied support by their unions or had unions that intentionally sabotage their cases. My union lawyer finally admitted to me that she was forced to take actions against teachers and stated, "It is about time someone exposes this," in response to my decision to form this group. The unions are in collusion since, like Enron, this is about money. The ACLU has turned down the majority of our members saying they don't have enough people with this "situation" to warrant investigating, yet they needed only one publisher of pornography to take his case to be sure pornography flourished. Why isn't 300 enough? Our members have contact countless media people, public officials, and universities, such as what I am doing to you today, only to be turned away or ignored. In fact, I even applied for the doctoral program designed to brainstorm education reform at National Louis University in Evanston and was turned down because "my situation was too negative," meaning my conflict with my school that I never mentioned but must have been relayed by my superintendent who made sure I was blackballed disqualified me from being a person who could help reform the schools.
Would a person who was happy with her experience want to spend thousands of dollars and several years to earn a degree to help change schools? Universities want to go on producing teachers, which will not happen if they admit the truth that they are sending them to be Stepford teachers rather than thinkers. Local superintendents pick up the phone and any teacher who has the courage to tell the truth is blackballed. Education schools are businesses first and they did not want what I had to tell them ruining business. After all, my corrupt superintendent placed their student teachers.
Teacher abuse is an agreed upon practice just as slavery was agreed upon earlier in our history. Nods and winks to collude in suppressing the truth saturate our society and it even experiences bipartisan agreement like little else in our country. This system is organized crime; schools are fronts for their agendas, which are not the children. We are told at the university level that we are decision makers and must think on our feet in the classroom. It is a bait and switch practice. Most of us identify with women who are taken to a third world country and made into sex slaves by unscrupulous thugs. We were totally shocked when we discovered the truth about this profession. We were the ones who cared too much to keep our mouths shut; the others drift quietly away. Perhaps university professors do not know. We are going to make sure they do. We keep track of every letter we write to all of the institutions in place in keeping with the promise of democracy so that when we succeed in exposing this, we can document who knew and did not do anything about it.
Hopefully your conscience and your ethical obligation to proper research standards will not allow you to not research this. For the sake of the children we pray you will not ignore this. I hope to hear from you.
Dedicated to the children I remain,
312 397 1940 (Chicago)
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