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

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Our National Crisis!

A bunch of education writers are meeting in Chicago as I write this. Apparently, according to the Twitter machine, they're all talking about teacher evaluations. And a very serious concern is getting evaluations right for art, music, and PE teachers.

See, there are hordes of these bad specialist teachers roaming our schools' hallways, making kids step off the wrong foot when they throw or endorsing bad color combinations or screwing up their embouchures. Obviously, they are directly responsible for the mess we are in:

This is a national crisis and it must be stopped at all costs. We know scads of these bad teachers exist because we've been told so by think-tanky types who aren't actually educators or researchers, but publish easy-to-read reports.

The solution is to tie PE teacher evaluations to writing scores for their school and have their principals wear x-ray specs, because that is obviously much better than the status quo. And to those of you teachers who think maybe I've lost perspective here: obviously, you care more about adults than kids and you should lose your job protections immediately.

We simply can't treat these teachers like professionals and let them police themselves like every other profession. We must beat Finland! Where they treat teachers like professionals. And don't bombard kids with standardized tests.



Anonymous said...

The Ledger report from the NJEA convention has Acting Ed Chief Cerf saying that he doesn't support radical evals for all subjects. (You know I wish my fellow teachers wouldn't jeer or shout out things--the only response should have been the stoniest of silence. If my own kids didn't have off, I would have been there.)
If Cerf can be trusted, does this mean teacher contracts will vary according to subject taught? Or does it mean no contracts at all?

czarejs said...

What indication has he ever given that he can be trusted by the teaching community?

Duke said...

Anon, you are getting to the heart of the matter. See:


There are layers and layers of this that they haven't even considered. I honestly do not believe Cerf has thought this through; if he has, and he insists on pursuing this...

Well, czarejs, that pretty much answers your question, doesn't it?

BTW, Cerf seems to believe that if DC did it, it must be OK. He's drinking the Rhee kool-aid like the rest of them. Her tenure there was a train wreck.

KatieO said...

I was at a different conference in Chicago today on progressive education. The purpose of the two events couldn't be more different Here's my take: http://mskatiesramblings.blogspot.com/2011/11/same-city-different-worlds-pen.html

One conference about supporting teachers and improving teaching, the other about better ways to sort and ultimately fire the same people.

Duke said...

Great stuff, Ms. Katie. Added you to the blogroll and shameless stole your stuff! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Christie has a solution:

"You have to pay them [science and math teachers] more than we pay the gym teacher. I’m sorry, in today’s society they’re more valuable," he said.

Now what does he have against P.E. teachers?