Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, November 30, 2013

On The Commons: Bll Gates Is Responsible For The Teacher Evaluation Mess

Nice post that puts all the pieces together - the VAM, the bell curve that ensures a certain number of "ineffectives" every year, how the new teacher evaluation systems are based on Microsoft's stack ranking system, how destructive stack ranking has been to Microsoft, how Microsoft just got rid of stack ranking because it is so destructive but how school districts all across the country are stuck with stack ranking for teacher evaluations:

Just as public school systems have widely adopted the Microsoft model in order to win the Race to the Top, it turns out that Microsoft now realizes that this model has pushed Microsoft itself into a Race to the Bottom.

 In a widely circulated 2012 article in Vanity award-winning reporter Fair Kurt Eichenwald concluded that stacked ranking “effectively crippled Microsoft’s ability to innovate. “Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees,” Eichenwald writes. “It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies.”

This month Microsoft abandoned the hated system.

 On November 12 all Microsoft employees received a memo from Lisa Brummel, Executive Vice President for Human Resources announcing the company will be adopting “a fundamentally new approach to performance and development designed to promote new levels of teamwork and agility for breakthrough business impact.”

 Ms. Brummel listed four key elements in the company’s new policy.
 •More emphasis on teamwork and collaboration.
•More emphasis on employee growth and development.
•No more use of a Bell curve for evaluating employees.
•No more ratings of employees.

Sue Altman at EduShyster vividly sums up the frustration of a nation of educators at this new development. “So let me get this straight. The big business method of evaluation that now rules our schools is no longer the big business method of evaluation? And collaboration and teamwork, which have been abandoned by our schools in favor of the big business method of evaluation, is in?”

Big business can turn on a dime when the CEO orders it to do so. But changing policies embraced and internalized by dozens of states and thousands of public school districts will take far, far longer. Which means the legacy of Bill Gates will continue to handicap millions of students and hundreds of thousands of teachers even as the company Gates founded along with many other businesses, have thrown his pernicious performance model in the dustbin of history.

Once again, no accountability for the billionaire malanthropists who shove through their "innovations" and "solutions" to the ginned up "crisis" in public education in order to wreck the entire public school system and promote their free marketeer dream of so-called school choice, charterization and online schooling.

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