“Health Gains”?

A young man with health problems visits his doctor. The doctor is skilled and her knowledge up-to-date. She gives her patient a thorough checkup, blood work and a stress test. The doctor tells the man, “According to this chart, you are 150 pounds overweight. Your blood sugar and cholesterol are high, and your blood pressure is 200/140. But before trying prescriptions or insulin, I want you to try some lifestyle changes. You need to stop smoking, start walking 20 minutes per day immediately, and work your way into jogging. You need to limit your caloric intake to 2,000 calories per day, 65 grams of fat, no more than 20 grams saturated. Start immediately, and I’ll see you in a month.”

The patient comes back, but nothing changes. The doctor says, “Sir, your lifestyle is very bad for your health. If you don’t take responsibility for your health and change your habits, you’re in great risk of a heart attack, and your quality of life is going to suffer until then. If I don’t see a change in the next month, I’ll have no choice but to prescribe medications and put you on insulin.” The patient does nothing, skips the next appointment, and has a massive heart attack two months later. As a result, the doctor’s Health Gains score plummets to the “Needs Improvement” level. The patient sues for malpractice, wins, and the doctor loses her license.

We all know blaming this doctor for a “Health Gains” score is ridiculous; I’d love to hear Governor Scott or a State Legislator explain how blaming a teacher for a “Learning Gains” score is any different.

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Filed under DCPS Teacher of the Year Essay