I'm sure we'll have all the kinks worked out when we implement this full-scale on teachers across the country. After all, standardized testing is so reliable:Ms. Irvine wasn’t removed by anyone who had seen her work (often 80-hour weeks) at a school where 37 of 39 fifth graders were either refugees or special-ed children and where, much to Mr. Mudasigana’s delight, his daughter Evangeline learned to play the violin.Ms. Irvine was removed because the Burlington School District wanted to qualify for up to $3 million in federal stimulus money for its dozen schools.And under the Obama administration rules, for a district to qualify, schools with very low test scores, like Wheeler, must do one of the following: close down; be replaced by a charter (Vermont does not have charters); remove the principal and half the staff; or remove the principal and transform the school.And since Ms. Irvine had already “worked tirelessly,” as her evaluation said, to “successfully” transform the school last fall to an arts magnet, even she understood her removal was the least disruptive option.
Some "race." Reminds me of Yogi Berra: "We may be lost, but we're making great time!"Students take the reading test after one year in the country. Ms. Irvine tells a story about Mr. Mudasigana’s son Oscar and the fifth-grade test.Oscar needed 20 minutes to read a passage on Neil Armstrong landing his Eagle spacecraft on the moon; it should have taken 5 minutes, she said, but Oscar was determined, reading out loud to himself.The first question asked whether the passage was fact or fiction. “He said, ‘Oh, Mrs. Irvine, man don’t go on the moon, man don’t go on the back of eagles, this is not true,’ ” she recalled. “So he got the five follow-up questions wrong — penalized for a lack of experience.”