From what I read, the state agreement is pretty much what was negotiated in 2010--20% state tests, 20% local or other tests, and 60% other evaluation. This will surely be a bonanza for testing companies ready to design whatever the hell it takes to extract more money from districts. And that, my friends, is business sticking its craw into education--Rupert Murdoch's wet dream. Though he'll surely want others, and with faux-Democrats like Andrew Cuomo and Barack Obama eager to please, this is not the end.
So, 20% crap, or 40% crap (and a cursory reading of Cuomo's press release has me leaning toward 40), it's all crap. And we're running headlong into a system for which tests do not exist, a formula for value-added has not been developed, and whatever it may be it will surely not work anyway, all because Bill Gates says it's a good idea. I see it all now--"watch it, you son of a bitch, don't ask me to tutor your damn kids. You could take points away from me. And don't try dumping that troubled kid in my class anymore. I have troubles of my own. If only I could persuade those losers to drop out."
And the UFT, the UFT has finally negotiated a system that utilizes an independent arbitrator. After all, it's absolutely unacceptable for the chancellor to decide, what with his having rejected 99.6% of appeals. And this is someone's job on the line. So what do we have? An agreement that 13% of appeals will be heard by an independent arbitrator. If you're not part of the 13%, you must rely on the tender mercies of whatever Bloomberg puppet happens to be chancellor. How do you make it to the lucky 13? Who decides? What sort of response does UFT expect to get from the 87% who are surely screwed?
I'm very glad I don't have to pick and choose. In my view, anyone facing loss of position ought to have due process, a fair hearing, and an unbiased arbitrator to decide. Under this agreement, 13% get it, while 87% are SOL. This does not appear to be a huge victory, particularly when you consider 20% VAM is 100% crap. Extrapolating, I can only determine that 40% VAM is 200% crap.
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