She has appeared on “60 Minutes,” starred in the documentary “American Teacher” — and makes $125,000 at an unusual Washington Heights charter school.
But celebrity teacher Rhena Jasey, 32, scored a low 18 — on a scale of 0 to 100 — in the recently released Department of Education teacher ratings.
Jasey, a 32-year-old Harvard grad, works at The Equity Project, a publicly funded but privately run charter school that has garnered nationwide attention for its huge teacher salaries — $125,000 a year, plus performance bonuses up to $25,000.
That’s well above the DOE’s top salary to its most educated and veteran teachers — $100,049. But at The Equity Project, teachers don’t get tenure, and can be fired on the spot if they don’t measure up.
It’s a closely watched educational experiment.
“If you want to attract and retain talent, you have to pay for it,” founder and principal Zeke Vanderhoek, a Yale grad who was featured in The New York Times before his school opened and soon after, told “60 Minutes."
So how is Vanderhoek's charter school experiment going?
Not so well:
So far, results at the 480-student middle school have fallen short compared to other district schools, with 31 percent of TEP’s fifth-graders passing state tests.Hey, it's good to hear that Vanderhoek believes teachers ought to be judged by a criteria other than test scores.
Too bad he didn't tell that to "60 Minutes."
Too bad, too, that the fawning "60 Minutes" crew wasn't there the other day to capture Vanderhoek screaming at the Post reporter who had the audacity to ask Vanderhoek about his famed teacher's less-than-stellar Teacher Data Report.
As for Jasey, the famous teacher and Harvard grad, just the kind of person the education reformers want to bring into the public school system, a certified member of the "Best and Brightest," how did she handle the scrutiny over her TDR's?
Sigh - not so well:
Ah, yes - here is a certified member of the Best and Brightest, a woman who relished the spotlight in American Teacher, who now won't return comment to the press when questioned about her TDR.
Jasey’s score of 18 for fifth-grade math in 2009-10 had a range of error placing her between 4 and 32. She did not return messages seeking comment
Too bad the fawning "60 Minutes" crew wasn't there to capture that too.
What Jasey should have done is taken the reporter's call and told her what jive the Teacher Data Reports are, what jive basing a teacher's evaluation on student test scores is.
She has had a national platform in a movie narrated by Matt Damon, she works at a school with notoriety even outside the education world
And it's not like she's been shy about the spotlight before.
In fact, she seems to seek it out.
This was a teachable moment for us all, when a member of the certified Best and Brightest with a penchant for the spotlight could have put to rest the notion that value-added measurements of high stakes standardized tests correlate to teacher quality.
She could have used her own TDR as evidence.
Instead she chose to hide out in her apartment.
But that is often the way with these reformy folks, who love the spotlight and the glory when the press is fawning over them but just don't have the courage to answer the really tough questions when their own records are scrutinized.