Sunday, June 2, 2013

John King's decision on teacher evaluation: voodoo or wake-up call for "bad" teachers?

UPDATE: the DOE says the evaluation system will require new assessments in K-2 and subjects like art and gym.  This puts them on a collision course with the growing opt out movement, with parents already sick and tired of all the testing.

Also, King's full plan -- with all 240 pages -- is posted, and is shown to be a bureaucratic nightmare.  I noticed on the press release his reiterated judgment that "Teachers rated ineffective on student performance based on objective assessments must be rated ineffective overall."  This means despite the claim that there are multiple measures, one year's worth of unreliable and inherently volatile test scores will trump all.

Lots of news and commentary this morning on Commissioner John King’s
From the front page of today's NY Post
on a new NYC teacher evaluation system. 
Here's the one I like best:  Jersey Jazzman's Exclusive!  First look at NY Student surveys for Teacher evaluation (based on the the fact that starting in 3rd grade, the results of student surveys will be part of the formula.)  See also NYC Educator:  Highlights of Reformy John's New Decree.
NYC Doenuts points out that the 20% that was supposed to be based upon "locally-determined measures" to allow for flexibility will have to be selected from a pre-determined menu selected by John King: Making Sense Of the New Eval System.

Before we get to the mainstream media, which is mainly limited to repeating the pronouncements of Cuomo, Bloomberg, King, Walcott and Mulgrew about how much this system will benefit NYC children,  let us recall the celebration of these folks at City Hall in 2010, when NY state was awarded Race to the Top funds.  What have we gotten from the collective efforts of these men to win these funds?
Double the number of charters taking space and resources from our NYC public schools (since the charter cap was lifted to win more points ), the adoption of untested Common Core standards along with quotas that require 50% informational text assigned to students starting in Kindergarten, 70% in 6th grade and thereafter, the privacy invading, Big Brother data cloud that is called  inBloom Inc. (which is now apparently the state longitudinal data system required by RTTT), and this year's Common Core-aligned state exams, that were full of ambiguous questions, product placements, and overly long reading passages, causing children to vomit, cry and get asthma attacks.  Not to mention the loss of $250 million in state education funds when the city and the DOE failed to agree on a teacher evaluation deal by the deadline earlier this year.
What will we get in the future? More Common Core tests, to be given on computers that will be time-consuming and expensive; and most likely, more teachers dismissed based on a formula that few educators and no reputable statistician supports.  In the future, I predict, the slogan "Race to the Top" will be held in even lower regard than "No Child Left Behind" is today,  as a grab-bag of some of the most absurd, ideologically-driven education programs ever foisted on the American people.
Here is the uncritical round-up from the mainstream media:  
Bonus: the NY Post article quotes Arthur Goldstein, the only critic cited in any of these pieces, who calls the new system "voodoo."   

Shameless plug: Arthur, along with another prominent critic of the junk science of teacher evaluation, Gary Rubinstein,  will be honored at our annual "Skinny" award dinner on June 18; be there or be square.


Joel said...

The really sad part is that this teacher evaluation system is much more harmful then really helpful to the teachers and children of our city.
It is a sham since many teachers are not responsible for testing in ELA or math, not that this is a fair way to judge a teacher. How many teachers have seen principals who judge teachers not on their ability but on how much they bow down to them and tell them what a great job they do. What ratings will students give a teacher who gives a lot of homework and accepts no nonsense from the class, starting in third grade?
What is killing our system is excessive pressure from testing,co-location of charter schools, enormous class size, no real program for ELL or special ed students and enormous amount of paper work. None of these issues are addressed in this new teacher evaluation nonsense

Unknown said...

Read New York's RTTT application. Governor and Chancellor committed to a longitudinal data system (for purposes of accountability);more charters; participation in a multi-state consortium for developing common standards.

Commitment one has been fulfilled by InBloom; accountability system has been fulfilled by APPR, School Report Cards, Teacher rep program evaluations); participation consortium for multi-state standards is Common Core.

These commitments were made in 2010 and have been fulfilled. Read the rest of RTTT to see what is coming next.

Unknown said...

I am glad that there is more accountability with teacher evaluations now. We need better education in this country. Plain and simple.