Monday, August 30, 2010

Day After Day

There's a drumbeat demanding that teachers be judged by value-added measures, or student test scores.  The fact that such scores had been juked for years in NY State did nothing to slow down the drum.  People just said we have to do it more, and sooner.  Despite the fact that such logic is one step this side of insane, it just kept coming.  Another day, another study suggesting there's no validity to this.

Meanwhile, we're represented by a union that a few years ago, was adamant that value-added measures not be used to determine tenure.  Now they're jumping up and down to make sure that we get extra money specifically to enforce such measures.  In the comments at Gotham Schools, a Unity bigshot rationalizes that it was coming anyway, we couldn't stop it, we're powerless, so let's make sure we get a seat at the table.

And somehow, this same union has the audacity to claim that, because you will only have 40% of your evaluation tied to a wildly inaccurate and unreliable metric, this is a victory, since the AFT pushed for and got 50% in Colorado.  What you won't read in NY Teacher is what percentage of principals will look at anything but test scores.  Let's say yours, for example, suck.  Perhaps your principal will say, "Yes, but you're a great teacher the other 60% of the time."  On the other hand, it's entirely possible 99.9% of principals will say, "You suck and you are therefore fired."

I read somewhere that up to 40% of teachers could be fired baselessly.  To me, that's 100% unacceptable, and the entire reason we have a union is to preclude such happenstances.  But that's just me.  Do you think there is any possibility these evaluation measures will be used fairly?

Or is it more important to dump teachers right or wrong if that's what makes Bill Gates happy?
blog comments powered by Disqus