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

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Commenters Rock, TN-style!

The always awesome jcg (come on, girl, start a blog already!) left a great comment about the clownish teacher evaluation system in Tennessee, which I now shamelessly steal as free material for a lazy Friday:

Hi Jazzman, 
Do you know how difficult it is to walk into a classroom of 25 enthusiastic pre-service teachers and try to explain to them that sociopaths designed and adopted the TN TEAM evaluation system and they will be forced to endure it if they stay in the state to teach?  

TN's Teach for America cultists in DoE insist that a 1 -5 Likert scale and an incomplete checklist of teacher behaviors is ALWAYS reliable and valid, not a principal's lying eyes, or, gasp, a teacher's professional judgement. The Milken Foundation TEAM evaluation trainer told us that if scores don't align into a normal distribution that "principals are gaming the system". That's the logic driving TN DoE and 29 of Nashville's 1%ers. 

In the end, it's going to be the 29 usual suspects who make the decisions about TEAM- the wealthy special interests for whom our state officials work: 
(h/t http://enclave-nashville.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-12-01T21:28:00-06:00&max-results=20) 

"After the state agreed to ease up on overworked educators and streamline the unrealistic teacher evaluation process, the Music City mogul class flushed apoplectic: 

Keel Hunt, a public relations executive on the steering committee of Nashville’s Agenda, said education reform has emerged time and again as a focus for the group and Nashville. He is one of 29 people who put their names to the letter — others were Metro Nashville Director of Schools Jesse Register and Orrin Ingram, president and CEO of Ingram Industries. 

Their letter contends that changing the evaluations could jeopardize the Race to the Top grant.
“I hope (the letter) helps underscore the importance that these people feel this issue has,” Hunt said. “It’s very important to stay the course. ... This is very important work, and there is broader interest in school success that goes beyond what one or two people feel.” 

To the 28 billionaires(and 1 Broad trained superintendent) who signed this letter, disagreement with TEAM is simply whining from a couple of overwrought women.
As I've said before, the business elite have no right to interfere in education until they fix their own problems.