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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

And Now, A Moment of Logic and Reason

Yeah, kinda shocking when you're covering education policy, but every once in a while, someone turns on his or her brain:
A new teacher evaluation system will be implemented statewide next year before administrators and educators have sufficient time to evaluate the success of its pilot program and make necessary adjustments, according to the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA).
The teacher evaluation system is a result of an executive order of the governor, which created a task force to develop a more authentic teacher assessment. The assessment will focus equally on classroom performance and student achievement. Currently, 11 districts are piloting the program that began in September 2011 and will conclude in March 2012.
“There needs to be time to review the results of the pilot program to determine whether it addresses all of the difficult questions,” said Dr. Richard Bozza, executive director of the NJASA. “For example, if one classroom has a number of special education students or limited English speaking students, should we rate the teachers the same on their students’ test scores? Authentic assessment is more complex than it appears.”
The NJASA advocates getting feedback from the pilot districts, as well. “Educators in the pilot districts are actively engaged and eager to participate,” noted Dr. Bozza. “But many of them are frustrated by the amount of work required in such a short time. We need to examine what is practical to implement statewide. We don’t want to launch a program before it’s ready. Let’s take the time to do it right.
No, listen, we have to do SOMETHING! Including completely upending one of the best statewide systems in the country and radically changing a profession without fully considering the consequences!

Don't people understand? There's an election coming up! The children can't wait!

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