Yesterday a group of teachers protested outside the News Corporation offices over the release of the fatally-flawed, error-riddled Teacher Data Reports in the New York media.
News Corp. was chosen as the site of the protest because former Chancellor Klein had been the prime proponent of the reports and he now works for News Corporation as the head of its for-profit online education division. Klein has also been running the internal News Corporation response to the phone hacking/police bribery scandal that has been plaguing the company over in England and has seen over 40 employees arrested.
The Teacher Data Reports have been shown to have a maximum margin of error of 75% for math, 87% for ELA. The Daily News reported earlier this week
that the NYCDOE itself warned superintendents not to trust the reports at the low end and high end of the bell curve because of unreliability.None of this stopped the ethically-challenged Post from attacking teachers
for exercising their free speech rights to protest the release and publishing of the Teacher Data Reports. None of this stopped the ethically-challenged Post from defending the Teacher Data Reports as "the best attempts we have nationally to grade teachers" either, even though the Post editors acknowledge that
Sure, the grading is imperfect, as the union points out.
But no one can fairly argue that teachers who are ranked among the very best in the city are actually big-time losers — or that the lowest-scoring are, in fact, superstars in the classroom.
Actually, Post editors, the DOE itself argued just that to superintendents internally when it told them to be wary making tenure decisions based upon the reports. Here's a Daily News article from Monday March 19, 2012 detailing that:
Education officials lacked confidence in the controversial ratings of teachers who oversaw the city’s highest- and lowest-performing students, cautioning schools about considering them in tenure decisions, the Daily News has learned.
The city Education Department called superintendents last spring about the shakiness of ratings for teachers at the very top and bottom of the spectrum, which 33% of all ratings, including those of teachers not up for tenure, fell into.
And all of the teachers at more than 30 schools fell into this category, a News analysis finds.
Officials said the ratings were unreliable for teachers whose classes had an average score above 3.4 or below 1.68 out of 4 on the state math and reading exams, because the tests are meant to measure students in the middle and not subtle changes among the highest and lowest performers.
For teachers with classes at the top or bottom, ratings could increase or decrease by 20 points if a class of students, on average, got one more question right or wrong.
Nearly 3,900 of 11,800 multiyear ratings for all teachers in 2009-10 were based on these classes — meaning they were outside the range the city deemed reliable.
So here we have the Post arguing that NOBODY
can say top ranking teachers on the TDR's are bad or low ranking teachers are good when the DOE itself told superintendents last Spring that the ratings for teachers at the very top and the very bottom of the spectrum were unreliable.
The Post editors/criminals/phone hackers argue that the teachers who showed up outside News Corporation offices to protest the TDR's are bad teachers trying to defend themselves against accountability.
Not so Post editors/criminals/phone hackers.
The teachers who showed up yesterday outside your offices were pointing out the fatally-flawed nature of the value-added voodoo the NYCDOE used in the Teacher Data Reports - facts that Post readers would not get from the New York Post itself because it chose not to tell readers the truth.
In addition, if the Post editors/criminals/phone hackers are so concerned about accountability, they ought to start by looking at their own company and their own employees who have engaged in so much criminal activity that four separate criminal investigations have been opened - three in Britain, one in the U.S.
At the crux of the investigations in Britain is the allegation that News Corporation used its newspapers to corrupt the political process and to promote its own agendas by buying off politicians, police and bureaucrats, hacking into people's phones and computers illegally and using that information to score political and/or journalistic points while paying off the authorities that were supposed to investigate these activities and hold the company accountable for breaches in the law.
What the New York Post has done here by attacking honest working teachers for protesting the error-riddled (and I would say any report with a maximum MOE of 87% is "error-riddled") TDR's is tantamount to what the News Corporation papers did over in Britain.
They are corrupting the political process by using their newspaper to promote a flawed and damaging evaluation system for teachers while ignoring the inconvenient facts like rampant instability, high margins of error, and the DOE's own warnings about the unreliability of the reports.
We'll see how the criminal investigations against News Corporation turn out.
So far, 40 News Corp. employees including former News International chief Rebekah Brooks and former News of the World editor and aide to Prime Minister Cameron Andy Coulson have been arrested in the scandal.
James Murdoch, son of Post owner and News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch is next on the list to be arrested, as is Rupert Murdoch's former right hand man, Les Hinton (the ex-publisher of the Wall Street Journal.)
If you only read the New York Post, you would have no idea that any of this is going on because the Post chooses not to report these things to its readers.
(Though the Murdoch-owned WSJ does, it has been accused of slanting the truth to make the company look better.)
Instead the Post chooses to slander and smear teachers with error-riddled TDR numbers and other lies and mistruths.
Frankly, given how News Corporation has been run, the editors/criminals/phone hackers at the New York Post ought to be worrying less about teachers protesting outside their offices and more about police investigating the criminal activities of its own employees - including the ones at the highest level of the comapny.
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