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, February 15, 2012

The Pie-Crust Promises of Chris Cerf

As Mary Poppins said: "Easily made, easily broken":
The UFT has lost its lawsuit and the DOE says it will release the teacher data reports to the media within weeks, with all the major newspapers expected to print them.  These reports, which rate 12,700 NYC teachers by means of numerical ratings of 1 to 100, are based solely on the 2010 test scores of their students, filtered through a complicated value-added formula.  They are widely seen by many experts as highly unreliable, based on false or incomplete data and with huge margins of error -- even if you believe that standardized test scores alone are all that matter.

The city will release these data reports, despite the promise in 2008 by then-Deputy Chancellor Chris Cerf, now Acting NJ Commissioner of Education,  that the DOE would do everything in its power to keep them confidential. [emphasis mine - and I prefer putting "ACTING" in all caps, but I'm a snarky old bastard...]
All you teachers right now in the "pilots" - you need to understand that Cerf made the promise to teachers in NYC that their scores would not be revealed to the press; now they are. Which means if your principal happens to give you a class that struggles one year, it's going to be all over the papers, probably right next to those obnoxious search engines that can call up your salary.

It's not at all an exaggeration to say that people may have died because of this policy.

Everyone OK with this? Are you happy to trust your career to Chris Cerf, a guy who can't even give a straight answer about his address?

(h/t @klhoughton on the Twitter thingee)

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