Author Topic: Keep All the Top Teachers  (Read 3521 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9888
    • View Profile
Keep All the Top Teachers
« on: January 23, 2011, 07:32:22 am »
from THE NEW YORK TIMES:

January 22, 2011
Keep All the Top Teachers
By MICHELLE RHEE
THE past year was a sobering one for American educators, as we learned that the United States is falling farther behind in international student rankings. To his credit, President Obama put forward a plan for change that hit the mark, a brilliant stroke that even the “abolish the Department of Education” crowd had to admire. Race to the Top, the competitive grant program that harnesses stimulus dollars to drive reform, convinced a surprising number of governors and legislators from both parties to pay the entrance fee by proving they could strengthen their education laws.

Twelve states improved their evaluation tools so that they can identify effective teachers and make sure they are prized in the classroom. Six states reversed policies that had made it impossible to use student achievement to evaluate classroom teachers. And 27 broadened their public charter school laws, giving parents more choices and reminding everyone that competition in education is a good thing.

Now, with a slow-moving economic recovery and no more federal stimulus dollars to spend, rumors are flying that in some cities 15 percent to 20 percent of teachers may face layoffs. Of course, states and school districts will look for other ways to cut costs. But when they have no other options, most principals are required to lay off the newest teachers rather than the least effective ones.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama should call for a federal law that would require states to help parents ascertain whether their children are getting the high-quality instruction they need to prepare for college and the work force. Parents who find that their children are not being taught by an effective teacher in a successful school should have the right to vote with their feet by choosing a different school.

Now that 12 of the 50 states have laws that allow school administrators to consider teacher effectiveness in making layoff decisions, one in four children in America stand to benefit. President Obama must make an all-out effort to help the other three.




Michelle Rhee is a former schools chancellor for the District of Columbia and founder of StudentsFirst, an education advocacy organization.


Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 3047
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2011, 07:29:44 pm »
Why does a lowlife animal who is nothing but a shill for Eli Broad and Bill Gates, who also QUIT on millions of children in Washington D.C., constantly get this media attention?

This woman is a complete creation of the media at its worst. There are NO "Miracles" in San Francisco that can be attributed to her despite all the lies. A school was CREATED for Rhee in order to give her management experience. To top it all off, test scores FELL 3 years consecutively under Rhee despite her pathetic vitriol and she then QUIT the position.

True news is dead in this country and this truth is verified every time Rhee is given a platform to speak as an "Education expert"

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9888
    • View Profile
Reform and the Teachers’ Unions
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2011, 04:01:34 am »
from THE NEW YORK TIMES:

January 23, 2011
Reform and the Teachers’ Unions
Education officials across the country are increasingly focused on the two critical reform tasks: developing more effective teacher evaluation systems and speeding up the glacial pace of disciplinary hearings for teachers charged with misconduct. The American Federation of Teachers, the country’s second-largest teachers’ union, has wisely chosen to work with state legislatures and local school districts to help shape these new systems rather than try to block them.

Last week the union’s president, Randi Weingarten, released a plan for speeding up disciplinary hearings that is a good starting point for more discussion. Developed by Kenneth Feinberg, the arbitration specialist, the plan calls for strictly limiting the process — from complaint to resolution — to 100 days. Right now a hearing can drag on for months or years, with the attendant stiff legal fees.

In many districts, teachers can now be investigated for vaguely worded charges like “moral turpitude” or “conduct unbecoming” that are often difficult to define and difficult to prosecute or defend against. The plan would give teachers and school systems more protection by establishing a clear set of charges — such as improper use of force, sexual abuse or refusal to obey rules — along with a strict set of deadlines for submissions of evidence and arguments.

The unions and state legislatures also need to press forward on developing evaluation systems that take student performance into account and that allow school systems to reward excellent teaching while steering ineffective teachers out of the field.

Ms. Weingarten has shown strong leadership in this area, and is well ahead of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers’ union. But many members of her union are resistant to the idea of accountability systems, which they say can be far too easily manipulated.

The states are already charging ahead in this area. If the unions want to have input, they need to quickly come up with a legitimate proposal of their own.



 

Offline Curtis Metcalf

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 4501
  • One never knows, do one?
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2011, 08:29:20 am »
Why does a lowlife animal who is nothing but a shill for Eli Broad and Bill Gates, who also QUIT on millions of children in Washington D.C., constantly get this media attention?

This woman is a complete creation of the media at its worst. There are NO "Miracles" in San Francisco that can be attributed to her despite all the lies. A school was CREATED for Rhee in order to give her management experience. To top it all off, test scores FELL 3 years consecutively under Rhee despite her pathetic vitriol and she then QUIT the position.

True news is dead in this country and this truth is verified every time Rhee is given a platform to speak as an "Education expert"

So what do you think of teacher effectiveness as a criteria for layoffs?
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Lion

  • HEF FOI
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1275
  • Totally hatin'.
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2011, 10:53:35 am »
Who determines whether the teachers are effective?

I'm asking because I know too many administrators who would make the decision based on who kisses their asses the most...

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9888
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2011, 11:36:02 am »
Who determines whether the teachers are effective?

I'm asking because I know too many administrators who would make the decision based on who kisses their asses the most...
And who determines who's a good administrator?

Seems like some kind of combination of grades, test scores, improvements over previous years, maybe even some blind peer critiques....dunno.

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 3047
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 12:22:51 am »
Why does a lowlife animal who is nothing but a shill for Eli Broad and Bill Gates, who also QUIT on millions of children in Washington D.C., constantly get this media attention?

This woman is a complete creation of the media at its worst. There are NO "Miracles" in San Francisco that can be attributed to her despite all the lies. A school was CREATED for Rhee in order to give her management experience. To top it all off, test scores FELL 3 years consecutively under Rhee despite her pathetic vitriol and she then QUIT the position.

True news is dead in this country and this truth is verified every time Rhee is given a platform to speak as an "Education expert"

So what do you think of teacher effectiveness as a criteria for layoffs?


The talking point of the moment is the "Value added method" which has a margin of error of anywhere from 30-60%.

I'm completely against that.


The system as a whole is currently too corrupt to have any legitimate evaluation of teacher effectiveness. You have  several issues that play a part in this reality.

Administrators-Schools are virtual kingdoms where the principal has the ability to capricously push around students and teachers with devastating results. I can walk into any public in NYC and know who the favored teachers are by the makeup of their students.

Test Scores- This is the element that no on is talking about but is getting ready to explode any day now, namely fraudulent test scores. The New York Times is clearly on the privatization payroll but  some wikileaks type of expose will show what anyone with sense already knows. You can't have a 34% drop in math scores and a 39% drop in reading scores in a single year without the previous scores being fraudulent. Tests are also graded in-house, I don't have to tell you where that leads.

Education deformers- Broad, Gates, and Bloomberg are billionaires who have their eyes set on making public schools and the pensions and salaries that go along with them a thing of the past. They have the wealth to push a 24/7 anti-teacher/anti-union propaganda campaign. Anything they say or more precisely say through their corporate proxies i.e. CNN, MSNBC, FOX etc. is not to be trusted.

Until all of the aforementioned issues are resolved I prefer the LIFO method to determine layoffs.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9888
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2011, 08:30:38 am »
So, how should teachers be graded?

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 3047
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2011, 07:07:43 pm »
So, how should teachers be graded?

For now if pushed I'd track the grades from at least the previous 2 years and compare it to the current teacher.

This should work especially well in math as it is easy to gauge improvement according to grade level.

I'd also have class size and student classification added to the equation. If a child was in a class of 25 students in year one, which subsequently increased to 36 in year two, and finally 41 in the evaluation year that should be factored in. If a child went from being listed as special to regular ed that should also be addressed. A lot of times students are switched from special to regular for a myriad of reasons that have very little to do with learning but still impact their performance greatly.


Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9888
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2011, 09:12:36 pm »
So, how should teachers be graded?

For now if pushed I'd track the grades from at least the previous 2 years and compare it to the current teacher.

This should work especially well in math as it is easy to gauge improvement according to grade level.

I'd also have class size and student classification added to the equation. If a child was in a class of 25 students in year one, which subsequently increased to 36 in year two, and finally 41 in the evaluation year that should be factored in. If a child went from being listed as special to regular ed that should also be addressed. A lot of times students are switched from special to regular for a myriad of reasons that have very little to do with learning but still impact their performance greatly.


Digging all that. 

Should administrator, peer and student reviews matter?

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 3047
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2011, 10:15:47 pm »
So, how should teachers be graded?

For now if pushed I'd track the grades from at least the previous 2 years and compare it to the current teacher.

This should work especially well in math as it is easy to gauge improvement according to grade level.

I'd also have class size and student classification added to the equation. If a child was in a class of 25 students in year one, which subsequently increased to 36 in year two, and finally 41 in the evaluation year that should be factored in. If a child went from being listed as special to regular ed that should also be addressed. A lot of times students are switched from special to regular for a myriad of reasons that have very little to do with learning but still impact their performance greatly.


Digging all that. 

Should administrator, peer and student reviews matter?

I know I am very NYC specific in terms of my criticisms and observations but the NYC public school model is the one that is currently being touted by non-teacher Sec. of Education Duncan and President Obama as the blueprint for reform.

In NYC many administrators now hail from The Leadership Academy. The academy is an invention of Emperor Bloomberg which brings divisve corporate tactics to the school environment. By the way, I am not simply characterizing the principles of the leadersip academy through my own take; that is the explicit purpose of the academy. The man whose book it is based on escapes me now but I'll look it up.

Administrators have too much power as it is over teacher's careers and I wouldn't want them involved in the evaluation. Ironically enough when people like Canada, Oprah, Guggenheim etc. rail about tenure and hiring, this is explicitly an issue of administrators as neither the unions or teachers hire or grant tenure.

I like student reviews for anywhere from 8th grade up. Students at that age have enough discernment to give a fair evaluation.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 4501
  • One never knows, do one?
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2011, 06:26:36 am »
I just want to say that I really appreciate the discussion on specific suggestions for evaluating teachers. One of my frustrations with these kinds of conversations (outside of HEF) is the teacher advocates have nothing but criticism for evaluation proposals yet fail to offer any suggestions for improvement. That is they are too often the party of "No". Or they suggest that the current methods are fine. Well, that's how we got here. I just don't get any sense of urgency from them. Not always, but too often. JS is a welcome contrast to that model.

It seems evident to me that the objective of teaching is fostering learning. If no learning is going on, clearly the teaching is unsuccessful. So doesn't that mean that student achievement has to be part of the equation? I think that the adjustments for circumstances that JS proposes are fair and reasonable. They also have the virtue of being concrete and measurable.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 10:16:11 am by Curtis Metcalf »
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9888
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2011, 06:43:59 am »
Co-signed. 

JS, you didn't comment on peer teacher evaluations...what do you think about that?

And let me also say, I hope you (JS) and all other teachers on this board get active in your union board.  We all need your voice on a local, and eventually national level.  If you don't like what others are saying, stand up and speak up. 

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 3047
    • View Profile
Re: Keep All the Top Teachers
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2011, 07:57:58 pm »
Co-signed. 

JS, you didn't comment on peer teacher evaluations...what do you think about that?

And let me also say, I hope you (JS) and all other teachers on this board get active in your union board.  We all need your voice on a local, and eventually national level.  If you don't like what others are saying, stand up and speak up. 

I don't think peer teacher evaluation is a good idea unless we are talking about senior teachers evaluating younger ones. The natural competitive nature that exists within us all has only been further heightened in this era of mass layoffs/firings.

If there is going to be peer to peer it shouldn't be blind. A teacher should have to put their name and reputation on the line when critiquing a colleague.


In terms of voicing dissent about what is talking place in America; it is truly a battle against giants. I don't believe I've ever seen or heard of any paid advocacy group that actively fights against those that support it. Despite her being villainized ( True poetic justice) in WAITING FOR SUPERMAN; Weingarten has actively sold out teachers and students in her pursuit of fame and fortune. All isn't lost though as teachers in Chicago took over their union and are now pushing for change.

Oprah won't have that sort of reform covered on her show or network though.

If you're reading Oprah here is a little lesson.

Teachers don't have a job for life, STEDMAN has a job for life!