Mr. Goldstein, I could not agree with you more. As I sit here during my "vacation" with a stack of essays and exams to grade, I am also planning my lessons for the remainder of the semester. I have had a very successful career for over two decades and I am not about to allow student test scores from untested Common Core Standards to change what I and my colleagues know works with an underserved population.
If standardized tests are not shared with educators, how in the world are they to guide instruction? Unlike the old Regents exams that we scored in our own schools, we will never see what parts of an exam our students need to work at. All we get is a score that is arbitrarily set by the state to tell us which schools are "failing" or not.
These evaluations mean nothing to me at this stage of my career but they mean the livelihood of so many others. I worry about what kind of teacher will replace our generation as we retire. Teacher retention is already awful and punitive evaluations will not attract good, caring, and intelligent people into the craft. If teaching is going to be tethered to a numbers game, all we will have for our children are people gaming the system to keep their jobs; no more, no less!
Reformers keep telling us getting a "great teacher" in every classroom is the goal of reform.
And yet, the "gotcha" reforms they keep shoving through, the teacher-bashing they engage in on a daily basis, the coordinated efforts they make to tie teachers to accountability measures teachers have little control over, the glee with which many look to cut our job protections and our wages (merit pay is so much better than salary steps!) - this will get a "great teacher" into every classroom?
More likely this will keep quality candidates from going into education because who the hell wants to deal with all the compliance and accountability nonsense that keeps changing by the year, that keeps being imposed on teachers from above by people with little or no education experience whatsoever?
The commenter is exactly right - awful and punitive evaluations are not going to attract good, caring, and intelligent people to teaching.
The cynic in me wonders just why reformers engage in reforms that are resulting in outcomes that are 180 degrees from what they say they want.
If they really want a "great teacher" in every classroom, why they do engage in a long-term, well-funded coordinated effort to disparage teachers, teaching and public schools?