Governor Goofus fails to acknowledge that his plan will put undue emphasis on standardized tests, which are unreliable barometers of student learning and completely inappropriate for use in teacher evaluation. He also cites ONE unpublished study using student from ONE city that has not gone through peer-review yet, but already has been critiqued by experts as inadequate as a justification for this sort of policy.You need to look only at the recent Harvard/Columbia study of 2.5 million students over 20 years in America. Its independent research supports what I told you from my heart, from this podium, one year ago.Great teachers have a more significant impact on their student’s future success than average ones. Even more importantly, average teachers have an even greater effect on their students when they replace underperforming teachers. Research that confirms our own common sense.Tenure reform will lead to even greater student achievement because replacing underperforming teachers with even an average teacher raises each classroom’s lifetime earnings by over a quarter of a million dollars. Let’s act on real tenure reform now. Let’s replace despair with hope in every classroom in New Jersey.
Governor Goofus, Louisiana edition:
As Eduction Secretary Arne Duncan said in a moment that shed a great deal of light on this character: Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans.” Well, it's over five years since the big one hit; plenty of time to starve the system so it could be carved up and sold to privatizers.Gov. Bobby Jindal today laid out an extensive agenda for revising education in Louisiana that includes expanding the New Orleans voucher program statewide to funnel state tax dollars to private schools, revising teacher tenure and granting school superintendents and principals hiring and firing authority that now is held by school boards.The plan touches on issues that in past years have been sensitive and legislators have been reluctant to address.
Under his proposed voucher plan, students at any school graded “C” or below in the state accountability would be able to get a voucher for a private school. Currently 71.5 percent of all schools are rated “C” or lower.
But Chris Christie isn't waiting for a huge natural disaster to hit: he's going to start the decimation as soon as he gets his court nominees in place. And he's pushing the privatizing hard:
• Last, and perhaps most importantly, establish tax credits to provide scholarships for low income students in the worst-performing schools in the state to enable them to attend a better school, either out of the district or a private school.And we'll determine that the private school - the school, not the students - is better... how?
This is depressing. Let's see how Governor Gallant is doing in California:
I have no doubt there are teachers in NJ and LA who are dream of polishing both their resumes and their surfboards when they hear Brown speak. Why the Son of Mario wants to pattern himself on Christie and Jindal and not on Brown is a mystery for the ages. We have enough Goofuses; we need more Gallants.Next, I want to say something about our schools. They consume more tax dollars than any other government activity and rightly so as they have a profound effect on our future. Since everyone goes to school, everyone thinks they know something about education and in a sense they do. But that doesn't stop experts and academics and foundation consultants from offering their ideas -- usually labeled reform and regularly changing at ten year intervals--on how to get kids learning more and better. It is salutary and even edifying that so much interest is shown in the next generation. Nevertheless, in a state with six million students, 300,000 teachers, deep economic divisions and a hundred different languages, some humility is called for.[...]No system, however, works without accountability. In California we have detailed state standards and lots of tests. Unfortunately, the resulting data is not provided until after the school year is over. Even today, the ranking of schools based on tests taken in April and May of 2011 is not available. I believe it is time to reduce the number of tests and get the results to teachers, principals and superintendents in weeks, not months. With timely data, principals and superintendents can better mentor and guide teachers as well as make sound evaluations of their performance. I also believe we need a qualitative system of assessments, such as a site visitation program where each classroom is visited, observed and evaluated. I will work with the State Board of Education to develop this proposal.The house of education is divided by powerful forces and strong emotions. My role as governor is not to choose sides but to listen, to engage and to lead. I will do that. I embrace both reform and tradition--not complacency. My hunch is that principals and teachers know the most, but I'll take good ideas from wherever they come. [emphasis mine]
Bobby J says: "Ya'll gotta great guv there, Jersey!"