Cheryl Champ, principal of Lakeland High School and leader of the northern Westchester/Putnam group, said she agreed with a column written this week by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in which he wrote that making ratings public would be “shaming poorly performing teachers.”“There is a lot of fear around the numbers becoming public,” she said. “It will open a can of worms with parents fighting over teachers with the highest scores. But if we have two classes to fill, we can’t put 60 kids in one teacher’s class.”
The "choice" culture that has grown up in urban districts will mitigate the pressure parents will put on principals to assign children to highly-ranked teachers. That won't be the case in the 'burbs: as soon as the yearly teacher ratings come out, principals are going to be flooded with calls by parents demanding that their child be placed with Mrs. HighVam.Andrew Rotherham, a veteran education analyst based in Virginia who writes the popular blog Eduwonk.com, said that public ratings would level the playing field for parents who aren’t plugged in on the best and worst teachers. And districts might have to address community desires when making personnel decisions.“Would it help create more incentives to address personnel if you had this sort of pressure?” he said.
At the same time, those principals will have to deal with Ms. LowVam's demand that she be moved out of the inclusion classroom and be given more high-achieving kids. And they'll have to deal with the growing resentment between the teachers who get VAM-based ratings and the ones who don't (art, music, PE, K-3, 9-12, guidance, etc.).
It's a potential nightmare, which is why so many principals are standing up against this insanity. But that's not enough. We can only stop this if the parents understand that this is going to ruin their children's education.
Will they listen?