Florida teachers file lawsuit today to stop evaluations that rely on test scores

charterartThe controversy over basing teacher evaluations on student performance now moves to a courtroom in Florida after teachers there filed suit today contending the review process violates their rights.

Filed in the District Court of the United States for the Northern District, the lawsuit targets a new evaluation system that tries to measure how much value a teacher has added to a student’s learning — even when there are no direct test scores to weigh.

(Seventy percent of teachers in Georgia teach in non-tested areas; the state intends to use a portfolio model, which will look at student demonstrated proficiency in such areas as music, foreign languages and art.)

The lawsuit maintains that evaluating teachers on the test scores of students they don’t teach or from subjects they don’t teach violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The lawsuit summary states:

The majority of teachers in Florida are being evaluated in the same arbitrary and irrational manner under the mandates of SB 736, passed in 2011.  That statute, as administered by the Florida Commissioner of Education and the Florida Department of Education, requires that a significant proportion of the annual evaluation of every teacher and instructional employee in Florida be based on the following growth formula that was developed only to measure student growth on the FCAT Reading and Math tests:

Because the FCAT Reading and Math tests are given, respectively, only to third through tenth graders and third through eighth graders, the formula produces student growth scores only for FCAT reading in grades 4-10 and FCAT math in grades 4-8.  Most teachers in Florida do not teach English/Language Arts or Mathematics in those grades.

Rather, the majority of teachers are kindergarten through third grade teachers like Plaintiff Cook, special education teachers like Plaintiffs King and Howard, advanced math teachers like Plaintiff Paedae, art and music teachers like Plaintiffs Jefferis and McConnell, and health, physical education, foreign languages, social studies and science teachers like Plaintiffs Brooks, Plavac and Boehme.

Among the Florida teachers suing is first-grade teacher Kim Cook, her school’s 2012 Teacher of the Year. The lawsuit alleges that Cook was labeled “unsatisfactory” because of the performance of fourth and fifth graders in a different school.

Cook’s school, Irby Elementary School in Alachua, only goes through second grade so her district relied on scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test from older students who attend Alachua Elementary School. But here’s the disconnect: Cook has only been at her K-2 school for two years, so she never taught the older students whose scores influenced her evaluation.

The Florida Education Association and the National Education Association is assisting Cook and six other educators in their lawsuit against the Florida Commissioner of Education, the Florida Board of Education and the school boards in their counties.

The culprit, according to the lawsuit, is Florida’s Senate Bill 736, which was passed last spring.

According to the state legislative summary, SB 736 “revises the evaluation, compensation, and employment practices for classroom teachers, other instructional personnel, and school administrators to refocus the education system on what is best for students. ”

According to Education Week:

In 2011, Florida lawmakers passed a measure overhauling teacher evaluations. The law requires all teachers to be judged in part on the progress of their students. This growth formula was developed for teachers in those subjects in which the state administers standardized tests: grades 4-8 in math and 4-10 in reading.

But because only a fraction of teachers are teaching in those subjects, the suit contends, districts, with state approval, have essentially fudged the formula for other teachers — for example, by using a schoolwide growth score for such teachers, or by rating them based on scores on a test in another subject only tangentially related to their field, if at all.

A bill pending in the Florida legislature would require teachers to be evaluated only on the progress of their own students, but FEA officials said it is not sufficiently detailed enough.

Here is an excerpt from Florida’s law:

The current evaluation system for classroom teachers, other instructional personnel, and school administrators relies on a completely subjective review and does not sufficiently, if at all, take the performance of students into consideration in determining the effectiveness of instructional staff and school leaders. The bill revises the evaluation system to focus on student performance.

For instructional personnel who are not classroom teachers, a school district may include specific job-performance expectations related to student support and use growth data and other measurable student outcomes specific to the individual’s assignment, as long as the growth accounts for at least 30 percent of the evaluation.

The bill reinforces Race to the Top, which requires 50 percent of the evaluation for classroom teachers and other instructional personnel to be based on student performance for students assigned to them over a 3-year period. The bill specifies that 50 percent of a school administrator’s evaluation is based upon the performance of the students assigned to the school over a 3-year period.

If less than 3 years of student growth data is available for an evaluation, the district must include the years for which data is available and may reduce the percentage of the evaluation based on student growth to not less than 40 percent for classroom teachers and school administrators and not less than 20 percent for other instructional personnel.

School districts are required to measure student learning growth based on the performance of students on the state-required assessments for classroom teachers, other instructional personnel, and school administrator evaluations. School districts would be required to use the state’s learning growth model for FCAT-related courses beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. School districts must use comparable measures of student growth for other grades and subjects with the department’s assistance, if needed. Additionally, districts would be permitted to request alternatives to the growth measure if justified.

Evaluation Criteria

The remainder of a classroom teacher’s evaluation is based on instructional practice and professional responsibilities. School districts may use peer review as part of the evaluation. The evaluation system must differentiate among four levels: highly effective; effective; needs improvement or, for instructional personnel in the first three years of employment who need improvement, developing; and unsatisfactory. The Commissioner of Education would be required to consult with instructional personnel, school administrators, education stakeholders, and experts in developing the performance levels for the evaluation system.

For instructional personnel who are not classroom teachers, the remainder of the evaluation would consist of instructional practice and professional responsibilities, and may include specific job expectations related to student support.

The remainder of a school administrator’s evaluation would include the recruitment and retention of effective or highly effective teachers, improvement in the percentage of classroom teachers evaluated at the effective or highly effective level, other leadership practices that result in improved student outcomes, and professional responsibilities.

School districts, beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, must administer local assessments that are aligned to the standards and measure student mastery of the content. The school district can use statewide assessments, other standardized assessments, industry certification examinations, or district-developed or selected end-of-course assessments.

Until July 1, 2015, a district that has not implemented an assessment for a course or has not adopted a comparable measure of student growth may use two alternative growth measures to determine a classroom teacher’s student performance: student growth on statewide assessments or measurable learning targets in the school improvement plan. Additionally, a district school superintendent may assign to an instructional team, the student learning growth of the team’s students on statewide assessments.

The bill requires newly hired teachers to be evaluated at least twice in the first year of teaching.

Performance Pay

The current salary system is divorced from the effectiveness of the classroom teacher, other instructional personnel, or school administrators. Instead, salary decisions are made on the basis of longevity. The bill comports with Race to the Top by tying the most significant gains in salary to effectiveness demonstrated under the evaluation.

Beginning with instructional personnel or school administrators hired on or after July 1, 2014, the evaluation will determine an individual’s eligibility for a salary increase. The salaries of quality teachers, other instructional personnel, and school administrators would grow more quickly, while those of poor performing employees would not.

The new salary schedule would require a base salary schedule for classroom teachers, other instructional personnel, and school administrators with the following salary increases:

An employee who is highly effective, as determined by his or her evaluation, would receive a salary increase that must be greater than the highest annual salary adjustment available to that individual through any other salary schedule adopted by the school district. An employee who is effective, as determined by his or her evaluation, would receive a salary increase between 50 and 75 percent of the annual salary increase provided to a highly effective employee. An employee under any other performance rating would not be eligible for a salary increase.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

69 comments Add your comment

Astropig

April 16th, 2013
4:41 pm

Performance Pay – Way overdue. Reward the good ones and the bad ones will either get better or fall way behind in standard of living. Doctors that are the best are the ones that you see succeeding the most (financially)…And they take all patients (for the most part) and don’t get to choose the “easy” cases.

FlaTony

April 16th, 2013
4:42 pm

It is time to recognize the nonsense associated with trying to extrapolate a few test scores to rate schools and teachers. Most of the politicians couldn’t even explain how the so-called value-added or student growth formulas are calculated. These formulas are laden with error rates that are very high making them unreliable. I hope the teachers in Florida are successful with the lawsuit and I hope Georgia’s teachers do the same.

Beverly Fraud

April 16th, 2013
4:43 pm

But here’s the disconnect: Cook has only been at her K-2 school for two years, so she never taught the older students whose scores influenced her evaluation.

That says it all does it not? What is the “most likely” reason that the Florida legislature passed a bill in which the above possibility exists:

A) it is comprised of members intellectually bereft
B) it is comprised of members who are too intellectually lazy to read their bills
C) it is comprised of members who lack integrity
D) all of the above

Anonymous in DeKalb

April 16th, 2013
4:43 pm

Given the choice, how many parents will choose to send their kids to schools in which agitation and militancy seem rife among teachers—a proportion of which are simply malcontents too lazy to look for more suitable employment.

All the while egged on by their mirror image in the media.

dc

April 16th, 2013
4:44 pm

clearly evaluating teachers on students that they aren’t actually teaching is idiotic……if that’s really happening, then it should stop. But seriously….is it really happening, or are we getting the usual BS reporting?

Centrist

April 16th, 2013
4:46 pm

Says a lot when the blogger censors a post she disagrees with.

Beverly Fraud

April 16th, 2013
4:50 pm

Doctors that are the best are the ones that you see succeeding the most (financially)…And they take all patients (for the most part) and don’t get to choose the “easy” cases.

So the surgeon who was battle tested in Iraq, who deals with gunshot wounds from AK-47s at Grady, is a worse surgeon that the guy who does b00b jobs in Dunwoody?

Not surprised that comment was made, entirely consistent with the lack of intellectual acumen displayed by someone who thinks a teacher should be evaluated on scores of students they never even taught, or in subject areas they aren’t responsible for, is considered “way overdue”.

Astropig

April 16th, 2013
4:57 pm

“So the surgeon who was battle tested in Iraq, who deals with gunshot wounds from AK-47s at Grady, is a worse surgeon that the guy who does b00b jobs in Dunwoody?”

I made a comment (an analogy if you will) about doctors and an idiotic commenter that is part of the kook fringe took us to :

1) Iraq
2)Grady
3)Dunwoody
In a stream of conciousness rant that has NOTHING to do with my comment.

Impressive,for a lunatic,that is.

Teach Forever

April 16th, 2013
5:02 pm

So you’re OK with your successful cardiologist being evaluated on his/her patients’
EEG results?

Catlady

April 16th, 2013
5:02 pm

Well, one reason Georgia teachers are against being evaluated by the CRCT is that it is a poorly designed test. It does not demonstrate validity or reliability, two key requirements. In fact, it is so crummy a test that although it is supposed to, in grades 3,5, and 8, determine if a student is able to go on to the next grade. However, the state apparently knows it isn’t valuable because they don’t actually retain the students who fail it, even

Catlady

April 16th, 2013
5:07 pm

Even repeatedly. I have worked all year with a group of students in 4th grade,who have failed the test EVERY YEAR. In third grade they had a retest, as well, and failed it, too. I have been trying to shore up their skills, give them the confidence to be positive, and make them CARE!

Astropig

April 16th, 2013
5:08 pm

” I have worked all year with a group of students in 4th grade,who have failed the test EVERY YEAR”

…But you never considered the possibility that the problem is not the students ?

Astropig

April 16th, 2013
5:13 pm

“So you’re OK with your successful cardiologist being evaluated on his/her patients’
EEG results?”

Yep. After he/she has worked on ‘em.If the cardio doesn’t do a good job…Get another cardio. I wish schools were that way.

bootney farnsworth

April 16th, 2013
5:19 pm

@ catlady,

if I remember correctly, you teach in a rural district?

bootney farnsworth

April 16th, 2013
5:20 pm

Astropig obviously has never worked in healthcare

bootney farnsworth

April 16th, 2013
5:22 pm

the ONLY physicians who must take whoever comes in are ER physicans.

most pick and choose their patient load very carefully.

Beverly Fraud

April 16th, 2013
5:22 pm

From earlier today: I made a comment (an analogy if you will) about doctors and an idiotic commenter that is part of the kook fringe took us to :

1) Iraq
2)Grady
3)Dunwoody
In a stream of conciousness rant that has NOTHING to do with my comment.

Translation: I lack the ability to follow the logical implications of my analogies thus I am willing to post wholly incorrect ones. Anything more than complex than a simple thought pattern causes cognitive dissonance thus I am reduced to calling it “stream of consciousness.”

Yes, some do have streams of consciousness, while others have water droplets of consciousness; it is what it is.

bootney farnsworth

April 16th, 2013
5:24 pm

@ beverly

somebody really does seem to need a hug today. be really interesting to see how much of this would be said directly to you face to face.

Shark Punch!

April 16th, 2013
5:27 pm

@Astropig: Since you seem to be such a fan of performance-based pay, how about a similar system directed at parents? I’m sure your towering intellect will come up with something.

bootney farnsworth

April 16th, 2013
5:28 pm

this lawsuit will likely garner national attention, at least within our little world. however it winds down, the results will likely set standards for years to come

WilieJo

April 16th, 2013
5:29 pm

Is there a reasonable cost evaluation process that would result in pay tied to results that would also be acceptable to teachers?

living in an outdated ed system

April 16th, 2013
5:36 pm

Lets separate the issues, shall we? Including test scores as one of many components in a teacher evaluation is sensible. However, a teacher in a subject area not covered by a standardized test should NOT be evaluated under the same formula. If this is the case, then I would expect a legal challenge to have merit, although I would like a lawyer to weigh in here.

Just more national attention, albeit negative attention, on standardized tests and distracts the nation from the very critical discussions about how to measure effective teaching.

Mikey D.

April 16th, 2013
5:39 pm

@Astropig:
What if the cardio patient, even after open heart surgery, continues eating red meat every day, smoking, drinking heavily, and refuses to exercise… Would you STILL evaluate the cardiologist based on this patient’s outcome? Because that’s what the merit pay apologists are pushing. Even if a student never cracks a book at home, never does homework, refuses to listen in class, is beligerent and only interested in disrupting the learning environment, etc. it is STILL the teacher’s fault exclusively if that student doesn’t learn. Hmmm. Yep. Sounds perfectly logical, huh?

Beverly Fraud

April 16th, 2013
5:39 pm

A potential Burger King spokesperson in the making, such are the Whoppers being offered:

“So you’re OK with your successful cardiologist being evaluated on his/her patients’
EEG results?”

Yep. After he/she has worked on ‘em

Yes the cardiologist who works in the Intensive Care Unit at Grady Hospital should be judged by his EEG results’ and his effectiveness should be compared to via the EEG results of the cardiologist who overseas the United States Olympic Team.

Brilliant!

Beverly Fraud

April 16th, 2013
5:44 pm

On second thought:

“So you’re OK with your successful cardiologist being evaluated on his/her patients’
EEG results?” Yep. After he/she has worked on ‘em

Actually this might be actually workable, if the cardiologist is allowed to do “remediation” by installing a pig valve in the heart; and the patient, as an award for steady exercise, gets treated to the occasional ham sandwich.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

April 16th, 2013
5:53 pm

dc “clearly evaluating teachers on students that they aren’t actually teaching is idiotic……if that’s really happening, then it should stop.

Yes. It is really happening, and not just in Florida. TN is fighting something similar. Politicians love to come up with legislation that makes it LOOK like they are really doing something about the problems in education (Hey! We are holding ALL teachers accountable!) while actually creating mandates that are, as you said, basically idiotic. I wish more of the public would actually EDUCATE themselves on the issues facing education and teachers, rather than just snarking about “teacher whining” and “laziness” every time we dare to speak up.

Maureen Downey

April 16th, 2013
6:03 pm

@Centrist, Follow the rules and you won’t be moderated. Posted the rules yesterday. Simple summation: Relevant. Non repetitive. No attacks. I have had too many reader complaints about people posting the same stuff over and over, little of which speaks to the post. Plenty of folks here disagree with me. But they do so on the issue at hand.
Maureen

Beverly Fraud

April 16th, 2013
6:05 pm

“However, a teacher in a subject area not covered by a standardized test should NOT be evaluated under the same formula.”

@living that we even have to have this conversation, that we would think it is even remotely appropriate needs to be discussed, because it’s not just a “failed” education system pushing this, it is our (society’s) completely FUBAR response to it (and our “blame teachers first” mentality) that is the problem.

Re: how to measure effective teaching.

Why not let the “money follow the child”? A school hires who they think are the best teachers; the parents go interview the teachers at their child’s local school. The teachers get paid, based on the number of students they teach. The good teacher attracts more students, she gets paid more. (if she attracts 40, and she wishes to use the extra money to hire a teacher’s aide to manage it, it’s her choice on how to run her business)

We give tests, but we don’t tie the teacher’s score to them; we let the parent do that, if they want. Responsibility on the parent to choose the best education provider, the free market automatically does the “evaluation” process.

If a student does not choose to comply with adult authority, the child is removed from the class, if the teacher so chooses (with the subsequent deduction in pay) If the parent cannot convince another teacher to take the child, the child is thus assigned to a school (it may have to have its own evaluation system of course-but at least you have a “free market” solution for the overwhelming majority of students that empowers parents and teachers to be responsible for their choices.

Capitalism at its best, right?

Nikole

April 16th, 2013
6:09 pm

I will do the same once Ga starts doing this. I watched kids test today. They were incredibly focused during section 1 and when I stated they had 70 minutes for section 2, they looked at me crazily and proceeded to bubble as quickly as possible. This was not my class, but even if it were, I can’t MAKE you check your answers, take your time, mark the text, focus etc. I can’t do anything about you never doing your homework or come to school or show up on time, or stop moving from school to school. And if the state says I’ve added no value, then I will show the mountains of data that illustrate these points.

Beverly Fraud

April 16th, 2013
6:09 pm

I have had too many reader complaints about people posting the same stuff over and over, little of which speaks to the post.

REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM

Just kidding Maureen; but actually who better than the star of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” to comment on this bill? (Yes I know, it’s not from the same movie LOL)

Beverly Fraud

April 16th, 2013
6:11 pm

I hope a cardiologist didn’t get a hold of astropig, or worse yet, a deli!

bootney farnsworth

April 16th, 2013
6:22 pm

@ williejo,

I’ve said repeatedly, and very few have contested this: we’re happy to talk, but we have to be at the table to do so.

for the majority of us the issue is people who have never been in front of a classroom, or for that matter even worked in a school telling us how to do our work with zero input from us.

why do we dig in so deeply? look at the posts of Astropig, Anynom, Google/10:10/AJC (and his 10 other names). do you sense any will or interest to discuss the issues? we don’t.

bootney farnsworth

April 16th, 2013
6:25 pm

I wouldn’t mind dying in a deli if the pepperoni and the pastrami are good enough. we all gotta go sometime.

Calka

April 16th, 2013
6:35 pm

So if I don’t have any data from the sales department I just use the data from the legal department. It is just fine to determine the pay of each sales person by the average job performance of the legal aids…
What an incentive to do well in your job!!!

Teach Forever

April 16th, 2013
6:37 pm

Clarification: EEG = test on brain activity, often used to diagnose epilepsy,
a brain disorder.

That’s the analogy I was after in this situation!

Beverly Fraud

April 16th, 2013
6:53 pm

Thank you Teach- EKG-for the heart (but the analogy still works..if your EEG isn’t flat-lining LOL)

living in an outdated ed system

April 16th, 2013
7:49 pm

@Beverly, the money needs to follow the child, and our QBE needs to be modernized to a student-based formula. And no – teachers don’t get paid based on the number of students they teach. Seat time is outdated – lets get to mastery based competency, ok? And see here lies the failure of your logic. You talk about adult authority – we need to get to a student-centered system where it’s about the children, not the adults!!

I found your example to be completely unrealistic and not what anyone would think our system should gravitate to. Actually, I laughed when reading it : )

trust

April 16th, 2013
7:57 pm

lets quit picking on Astronut

we have ppl like Rhee and others running around like chicken little: “education is horrible”. We are always going to have the cream of the crop (students that will succed no matter what), the middle ground kids that will make up most of the middle class, then we got the sweet and lows– yep, we have to have fast food workers, ditch diggers, and chicken plant personel.

Student population trends usually cycle every 6-8 years. In other words you get a “good” batch of students from parents that have raised their children well then sometimes you get the batch of students that the majority of their parents used drugs heavily.

I’m sorry I do NOT believe we have an EDUCATION issue in the US we got us a WORK ETHIC problem

Mary Elizabeth

April 16th, 2013
8:07 pm

How do we rate physicians? Are they rated by the number of their patients who have cancer and survive for more than 5 years? More than 10 years? Do we consider the how advanced the cancer was in each patient when the physician began treatment? Do we consider the age of the patient when the physician began treatment? Do we consider the patient’s will to live, if we rate the physician by the number of his/her cancer survivors after 5 or 10 years? Do we expect the amount of a physician’s bill to be directly related to how many of his/her patients have survived cancer after 5 or10 years?

Of course, the answers to all of these questions is “No.” We do not rate physicians by any of these criteria because we know that there are many factors, other than simply what the physcian is able to diagnose and prescribe for each of his/her patients, that will effect the longevity of his/her patients who have cancer.

Likewise, there are many factors which will effect the standardized tests’ scores of a teacher’s students, many of which are beyond the control of the teacher, such as the IQ of each student. Is the IQ of each student taken into consideration when evaluators assess each student’s growth on a standardized test? If not, then the student’s IQ is one piece of data that should be factored into evaluting the results of the student’s expected progress, and the success of the instruction of the student’s teacher. A student’s IQ is well beyond the control of a teacher. Moreover, IQ is only one of many factors that are beyond the control of a teacher. Sometimes, it appears, legislators – who are not educators – pass into laws legislative bills which do not contain enough in-depth instructional knowledge regarding students’ growth and teachers’ evaluation criteria.

For more detailed understanding of “Assessing Teachers and Students,” please read the article, by that title, on my blog, given in the link below:

http://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/about-education-essay-5-assessing-teachers-and-students/

Catlady

April 16th, 2013
8:18 pm

Bootneu, yes. Rural North Georgia.

Astropig, I know you are a troll, but … Actually I know all their previous teachers. Heck, I taught many of them when they were,little! This year I have them for 25 minutes a day. I push into their classroom. They are in a late second grade reader, and have had at least 2 years of assistance with someone like me ( experienced, highly qualified, generally successful) to provide “needs-based instruction.” Yep, I do think it is them. Not for lack of intelligence in most cases, but lack of motivation. No one riding them to do better. No one to instill fire or grit in their bellies. NO CONSEQUENCES!

Catlady

April 16th, 2013
8:20 pm

Bootney, I guess I made you French!

Not PC and a HS teacher

April 16th, 2013
8:27 pm

Second the work ethic comment.

Me dekalb

April 16th, 2013
8:35 pm

Can everyone understand that students who are OVER tested don’t even care when tested on a test that doesn’t affect their current grade…they don’t care!? Who would?

WilieJo

April 16th, 2013
8:52 pm

Bootney,
The reason that I asked if there were a reasonable cost evaluation system that teachers would accept that could be tied to compensation is that many folks are open to the exact method. I am open to hearing what system teachers would approve of.

As a parent and a taxpayer, some mechanism for teacher evaluation is essential.

James

April 16th, 2013
9:02 pm

How can an educator be retained or terminated based on student test scores? If a student fails a grade and is socially promoted for 2 more the teachers career hinges on a student who is 3 years behind. If a student doesn’t learn their multiplication tables in 3rd grade yet gets promoted to 4th, the 4th grade teacher has to take time from her allotted curriculum time to teach 3rd grade work. Regardless of what happens to the 3rd grade teacher, the 4th grade teacher is under the gun to teach whatever is necessary to keep their job through no fault of their own.

Spedteacher

April 16th, 2013
9:05 pm

I have only one question concerning the “pay for performance” model….how do you think you are going to evaluate, and figure out the pay for, a teacher who teaches children with autism, brain injuries, moderate mentally impaired or other students who need to be taught in a class of 10 students working on goals written for their needs while accessing the common core? I have taught these children for 25 years and until recently I was evaluated on each child’s improvement on their goals. Now, I don’t know how I will be evaluated as the new evaluation system is put into place.

Astropig

April 16th, 2013
9:20 pm

I see a LOT of teachers on this board that are scared that if performance pay becomes the norm…They won’t get any. That’s what’s at the bottom of this. You can rag on me till the cows come home,but here in the real world,you don’t perform,you don’t make the bucks. Simple as that.You may as well argue against gravity. The fact is the school systems that you people work in are an echo chamber,where you are never allowed to deviate a degree from the party line,and the party line is that performance pay is not good. Bunk. Better pay would separate you malcontent losers from the good teachers real quick (those that can get a job,there Boots). Thats what you’re really afraid of. I know that you don’t really dislike me (I’m extremely huggable),but you’re scared witless at the message I bear.

Performance pay- Another tool in the toolkit that will assemble the coffin for the system we have now.

NTLB

April 16th, 2013
9:20 pm

@Spedteacher, agreed! I don’t teach special needs students, but I do have a good amount that may qualify if tested. Don;t forget to include the homeless child, the abused child, the neglected child, the emotionally distraught child, drug addicted child, and the depressed child. Teachers can not fix these children, nor can they teach effectively.

S

April 16th, 2013
9:24 pm

Willie Jo- I would be in favor of a system that evaluates teachers using a combination of student, parent, and admin evaluations. I’ve found that most students, parents, and admin can and will be honest when evaluating teachers. Obviously there are exceptions and you’re going to have “outliers”, but when we survey parents and students they are not only honest, they accurately rate teachers. Everyone knows who the good ones are. It’s not rocket science. As an administrator, I can walk into a classroom 3-5 times a week, spending 2-3 mins during each visit and can tell you whether a teacher is effective or not. We’re making this too hard.

saywhat?

April 16th, 2013
9:27 pm

The republican state reps/senators who wrote and voted for these stupid bills (guided by ALEC I wouldn’t doubt) are only interested in the appearance of accountability. In their barely functioning minds they are convinced that teachers are the problem despite any reasoned arguments or facts to the contrary. It only remains to find a way to punish teachers, any teachers, good or bad, as long as they have that appearance of accountability.

In the legislators stupidity, they will of course succeed in driving away more good teachers than bad, because good teachers won’t put up with this crap and don’t have to.Their skills can get them equally good or better paying jobs outside of education.

One suspects this is just fine with the republicans, because their ultimate goal is to make the public schools as bad as possible, dismantle them, and can foist private for-profit schools (run by their buddies and campaign donors of course) on everyone.