So you admit that you don't know how to change teacher evaluations; can you also admit you have never even studied the extent of this alleged "problem"? How many "bad" teachers are there, Mr, Secretary - can you tell us? Do we really have "better" teachers ready to step in and take their place when you get rid of the "bad" ones? How do you identify the "bad" ones accurately? Won't you kill the profession if you misidentify "good" teachers as bad and kick them to the curb?
I have a serious question for you, Secretary Duncan: did you take a minute to think about ANY of this? Or are you in such a rush to prove you are "doing something" that you don't care if your "solution" may be worse then the "problem"?
Oh, yes, everyone is so "scared." It's not like we are constantly bombarded by the sanctimonious pap preached by politicians, pundits, billionaires, think tanky-types, "reformers," and a whole host of others about how society needs to blame teachers for a problem we never created...
Yes, it is so important to change how we evaluate teachers that we will use "whatever" system we have. That's how you deal with things that are important to children: just do "whatever."
From whom? Who wants to keep kids stupid? I want names, Arne!
You know what I define as a lack of courage? Blaming unnamed people for poorly-defined problems.
This is probably the single most disturbing thing I've heard from the administration on this topic. Arne Duncan won't say what these tests are actually measuring, and admits they make mistakes. Yet he still he wants to use standardized tests to radically change how teachers are evaluated.
He apparently believes that there are throngs of talented, hard-working young people who would gladly eschew careers on Wall Street and consider teaching as a profession if only they could be judged by how well their students - whom they don't get to select - do on secretive, poor-constructed and poorly-judged standardized tests. And they'd be even more thrilled to sign up for jobs in poor urban and rural areas if the tests scores were analyzed using statistical methods so fraught with error that they are functionally the same as rolling dice. And all for less money than those people would make in the private sector! Hey all you Ivy Leaguers, sounds pretty awesome, dontcha think?
Of course, Arne also wants to pay teachers much more. But I guess he's decided to hold off revealing his secret plan to make that happen until he first forces the states to adopt his unproven schemes to make teacher evaluations capricious and demoralizing.
In sum: we have to do something, even if we don't know what that is, and even if it makes things worse.
If that isn't the raving of a maniac, I don't what what is.