Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Daily News, Post: Fire More Teachers!

Both the Daily News and the Post were very, very sad that the teacher evaluation ratings results showed 92% of teachers around the state were effective or highly effective while 7% were rated developing and 1% ineffective.

The Newsies and Posties wanted the evaluation ratings to reflect the proficiency ratings students had on the state test results released earlier this year.

In other words, they wanted about 70% of teachers to be rated ineffective or developing, since only "objective" test score results can truly show the value a teacher adds to her/his students, and if only 30% of students were rated proficient statewide on the tests, then only 30% of teachers can reasonably be deemed effective or highly effective in their jobs.

While SED Commissioner King and Regents Chancellor Tisch both tried to spin the results yesterday to say they show how this new APPR teacher evaluation system is not a "gotcha" system out to destroy teachers, you can bet that next year's results will look differently than this year's if the newspaper editorial writers have their way.

This is a warning to those teachers who look at the results released yesterday and think "Oh, that wasn't so bad...maybe I'll be okay..."

The education reformers want teachers fired and while the results from yesterday do not give them the leverage to do that for most teachers (unless you're a teacher in Buffalo, Rochester or a school with high numbers of ELL's or support service students, where the low rating numbers for teachers were much higher), the reformers will do their damnedest to get this evaluation system rigged right so that it does give them the opportunity to do mass firings.

The Daily News says this "must" happen:

In a state where two-thirds of students flunked new reading and math tests, the super-duper ratings are proof that district superintendents and teachers unions conspired to subvert accountability in favor of a gold-star stamping system.

Confirming that conclusion: When the state Education Department rated teachers whose students took the reading and math tests, 7% (not 50%) were deemed highly effective and 6% (not 1%) were deemed ineffective.

The new ratings cover teachers statewide — except for New York City, where battling between Mayor Bloomberg and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew delayed evaluations in the five boroughs.

They stand as a warning sign of a catastrophe in the making here. Should the city’s Department of Education turn out similar findings next year, the evaluation program will become a guarantee of long-term employment and certification of high competence for all but 1% of the workforce.

This must not happen.

What’s happening points to a fundamental flaw in the program enacted by Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature. Rather than allow the city and districts around the state to impose evaluation standards on teachers, they required union ratification. 
That made it all too easy to game things.Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Education Commissioner John King confess to being surprised by these results and blame the structure of the “compromise” law. They have a lot of work to do to recover from this fiasco. 
They must find a way to force districts to abide by real standards — ones that begin to grade teachers with an integrity at least remotely similar to those we use to assess the achievement of New York’s students.

So teachers beware, the reformers are still coming for you - the newspaper editorial writers are pointing the way!

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