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

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Every NJ Teacher MUST Read This

I know I'm always hectoring you to read Bruce Baker's blog. But I'm really, really serious this time: if you are a teacher in NJ, you MUST read this. Print it out and post it in your staff room; email the link to your colleagues.

I'm serious - this is all about your future:
Yesterday, New Jersey’s Education Commissioner announced his plans for how teachers should be evaluated, what teachers should have to do to achieve tenure, and on what basis a teacher could be relieved of tenure. In short, Commissioner Cerf borrowed from the Colorado teacher tenure and evaluation plan which includes a few key elements (Colorado version outlined at end of post):
1. Evaluations based 50% on teacher effectiveness ratings generated with student assessment data – or value-added modeling (though not stated in those specific terms)
2. Teachers must receive 3 positive evaluations in a row in order to achieve tenure.
3. Teachers can lose tenure status or be placed at risk of losing tenure status if they receive 2 negative evaluations in a row.
This post is intended to illustrate just how ill-conceived – how poorly thought out – the above parameters are. This all seems logical on its face, to anyone who knows little or nothing about the fallibility of measuring teacher effectiveness or probability and statistics more generally. Of course we only want to tenure “good” teachers and we want a simple mechanism to get rid of bad ones. If it was only that easy to set up simple parameters of goodness and badness and put such a system into place. Well, it’s not. [emphasis mine]
Please, please, please read the entire thing. They are shoving an evaluation system down your throat that has been proven to be a disaster.

We simply cannot let them let away with this.

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