I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Teacher Eval by Test = Lawyer Employment

The lawsuits are coming! The lawsuits are coming!

For the second year in a row, a disproportionate number of "highly effective" teachers are employed in affluent, white areas of the District, school officials confirmed.
"We're continuing to look at that, and it's a trend we saw this year as well," said Jason Kamras, chief of human capital for D.C. Public Schools.
In 2010, nearly one-quarter of top-performing teachers were in Ward 3 schools, while only 5 percent taught in Ward 8 — even though affluent Ward 3 has 60 percent the enrollment and eight fewer schools than poor Ward 8 — the Washington Post reported at the time.
Kamras did not have exact figures in an interview with The Washington Examiner, but reiterated that DCPS is using attractive dollar figures to bring effective educators to the poorer parts of the city, and believes in evaluating teachers across the same standard, "like you do with the children."
While 413 employees were laid off on Friday — 288 for poor scores on the 2011 teacher evaluation tool — 1,213 employees were rated "highly effective" and 4,269 were rated "effective." [emphasis mine]
That just makes sense: if an affluent white kid with two parents from Scarsdale can read by third grade, there's no reason a poor African-American kid from the South Bronx born in poverty to a single teenaged mom can't as well. To think otherwise is to be a racist...

This, by the way, is the end of principals making class lists - unless you want a raft of lawsuits. When one teacher has more wealthy or white kids in her class than another, how is that fair? And in a large district like DC, the only obvious solution is to bus kids all over the city so every classroom looks exactly the same in gender, SES, race, language, etc. Yeah, that'll be easy.

All to get rid of some allegedly "bad" teachers no one has ever proved exist, but even corporate "reformers" claim couldn't be more than 10% of the workforce.

I'll say it again: the corporate "reformers" have not thought this through. They are clueless. They have set districts and states up for massive lawsuits that should be fairly easy to win. And once a hack like Rhee messes up a system like DCPS, she gets to move on to a fat paycheck for destroying another district, completely unaccountable for havoc she wreaks.

How many more kids will have to suffer before we start to see the pattern?

[h/t to Bruce Baker via Twitter]


CommutingTeacher said...

I hope that the teachers there are being well advised by their unions. They need to document everything, including how classes are comprised, about collaboration or lack thereof, of efforts to help them improve or lack thereof, of ignored pleas for help, and a host of other items. They need to document how the district has failed them in their effort to reach and improve. Indeed, let the lawsuits begin and may those educators have a host of evidence on their side. The downside is, other educators will be thrown under the bus in the process. For the lawyers!!

jcg said...

"The corporate reformers have not thought this through" is an understatement. They don't know what hell they've wrought on public schools, but when their plans come back to bite them, they revert to their corporate damage control apparatus: obfuscation and PR.

Check out how the CEO's in Atlanta covered up the cheating in the schools.Protection plans are one of the perks of those coveted public/private partnerships.

One detail of interest from the article shows how easily they lie when their own interests are at stake. Atlanta CEO's formed a committee to formulate a PR plan to gloss over the cheating, claiming a full accounting for fraudulent test scores was bad for business. Will teachers, alone, be accountabl­e for the ignorance and corruption of the powerful?


This illustrate­s reason # 218: The business ethos does not align with education.