Pro-Teacher, Pro-Reform

And we won’t get drawn into making a false choice between being pro-reform or pro-teacher.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I am both.  I’m pro-teacher, as long as that doesn’t mean defending the status quo, and I’m pro-reform, as long as that isn’t simply an excuse to bash teachers.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, 2012 State of the State Address

One thought on “Pro-Teacher, Pro-Reform

  1. There seems to be something wrong with your captha code, so I’m posting this here.”If done correctly, efforts such as tenure reform can …”Using value added models that cannot adequately account for circumstances beyond teachers control are, by defintion, the opposite of doing it correctly.Fundamentally, tenure is due process, and fundamentally, due process is signing the paperwork with an affirmation the the information it includes is not false. By definition, no such signiture can be attached to claims that a teacher’s failure to meet the growth target was due to his ineffectiveness, and not the school’s or the system’s policies. The most dysfunctional of those policies are direct results of the disrepect dumped on educators. Would you support “reforms” that would destroy the careers of doctors BEFORE they were tested?”We need to trust all …” No, we need for educators to have the same rights as others enjoy in a constitutional democracy. Constitutional democracies are based on checks and balances, because “power corrupts …” We can’t build respect for educators by implementing collective punishment. We can’t build respect for educators by incentivizing rote instruction and test prep.If you were an inner city teacher, you would have seen why NCLB-type accountability has encouraged more educational malpractice and driving down teacher quality. You’d see how “teacher quality” reforms are NCLB on steroids and will drive self-respecting educators from the inner city. Since you haven’t taught in the ‘hood, what is your best estimate of how often and why it is commone for twenty, forty, sixty or more absences to be dropped and for “credit recovery” to be used to pass on students? When, as in many (most?) urban districts, those practices are ubiquitious, how are the teachers in schools where students attend class half as much as those in effective schools supposed to meet their growth targets? In schools where students always bury one or more of their classmates, and bury significant numbers of relatives (especially the grandparent who raised them) we should show respect for teachers by firing them for not meeting growth targets? So, when our school had five funerals in one year, we should have destroyed the careers of the teachers? Are you saying that we can upgrade the profession by telling new hires that they will not have too great of a chance of being fired due to mathmatical chance, until the next gang war hits?I have studied every major value-added report. Can you cite one piece of evidence in them that will address my complaints? If not, or if you don’t have enough concrete knowledge of the conditions in the inner city to answer, why move ahead on those theories? Can you articulate a scenario where value-added for evaluations, in the hands of managment alone, does not encourage an exodus of teaching talent from the schools were it is far, far harder to meet growth targets?

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