Thursday, October 16, 2014

What if You Have to Skip Town Before You're Observed?

You never know. Maybe Cathie Black finally read those awful things you said about her and the DOE has put out a hit on you. Maybe your rich uncle in Tasmania is sick and needs you by his bedside. Perhaps you've finally found a killer deal on that chateau in the Ozarks you've always dreamed about. Who knows?

But, but doesn't the APPR agreement say you've got to be observed four times? Well, not necessarily. On page five it says this:

d) When a teacher is unexpectedly absent for the remainder of the school year (e.g., extended leave), the teacher shall have a minimum of two (2) observations, which shall fulfill the observation requirements set forth herein.

Is that reasonable? I'm not really sure. What if have to I leave today, before Cathie and the Tweedies can find me? Should I tell my supervisor to observe two classes and then make a break for it? And what if she rates me poorly. After all, here I am running for my life, and I may not be entirely at my best. Let's look at another scenario, though.

What if you get pregnant? Are you "unexpectedly absent?" How could you be when it's common parlance to say you're "expecting?" Is it in any way reasonable to load you up on observations in a short time? Let's say that today you suck, and you're leaving at week's end. Shouldn't you have more time to improve before you get tagged with a rating that says you sucked for the year?

And what about the 40% of junk science that's added to your rating? Since it already has no validity whatsoever, is it worse when you haven't actually been in the school? I suppose not, but even those who argue the validity of test scores in your department, or others as the case may be, will have a hard time saying that the kids did so poorly because of you. After all, you weren't even there. In fact, you could argue that the kids could have done much better if you were there. Who could argue?

So here's what we know. You must be observed at least four times by admin, unless you are highly effective, in which case you must be observed at least three times by admin and three by your inferior colleagues. Unless, of course, you leave unexpectedly. Then it is perfectly fine to be observed only twice, not matter what your rating. Because it is perfectly valid to judge you based on two observations if you leave.

The question then becomes why the hell isn't it good enough to observe you twice if you stay. The answer, of course, is because the MOA says it isn't, and that ought to be good enough for anyone.

It's important that APs and principals do 200 observations a semester, because Whatever It Was That They Did Before was a complete waste of time. Besides, as teachers, it's not our place to question the great and mysterious APPR agreement.

After all, who the hell do teachers think they are, running around and demanding logic? Next thing you know, students will be demanding it too, and then where would we be?
blog comments powered by Disqus