"Greater teacher accountability" is code for "teacher evaluations tied to standardized tests." So it's worth remembering that the ACTING Commissioner, back in his NYC days, was the one who swore that teacher evaluations based on standardized test scores would never be revealed to the public. That pie-crust promise was broken last week, much to the glee of the teacher bashers.In the latest move to use money as an incentive, Gov. Chris Christie's administration has added to its new school funding plan a multimillion dollar program to reward schools and districts that meet specific goals and implement targeted reforms.Acting education commissioner Chris Cerf outlined the new "Innovation Fund" in last week's 83-page report on school funding, which serves as the basis of Christie's proposed system for distributing state aid to schools next year and beyond.Under Cerf's plan, the Innovation Fund would serve two functions.First, it would provide dollar rewards to schools that make specific achievement gains, such as the largest improvement in fourth-grade reading scores for low-income students or the biggest jump in graduation rates.Second, it would serve as the central pool of funds for a competitive grant process. Schools would apply for specific projects and programs that meet the Christie administration's reform agenda for raising achievement, including greater teacher accountability or strategies for helping the very lowest-performing schools. [emphasis mine]
Make no mistake: the schools that are taking these relatively paltry sums are selling out their teachers. The entire point of this exercise is to put in place a data system that will eventually make teachers' VAM/SGP scores public.
Of course, the ACTING Commissioner could prove me wrong right now: he could support legislation that would make it illegal to publish this data. Will he?