Vision 2032: Shaping the Future of Education. That is the topic of this year’s Yale School of Management Education Leadership Conference. The event, hosted by the Yale SOM Education Club, has become a “must attend” for national education reform leaders, offering a virtual who’s who in the reform community.
This week, Eduflack celebrates its fifth birthday! That makes this blog about a year younger than my son, and about six months older than my daughter.
Down in Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal has offered an education reform package that leaves most other state reform packages in the dust. Eliminate tenure. Overhaul how teachers are paid. Offer families vouchers to send their kids to private and parochial schools.
No, it isn’t just states like New York and Connecticut that are currently focused on strengthening teacher evaluations and putting some real teeth into the process. The good folks over at Hechinger Report have previously reported on similar efforts in Florida, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Next up … Indiana.
Teachers across the state will be rated 1 through 4, with 1 being the lowest. Those ratings will be based in part on the test-scores of their students.
The ratings come with consequences.
Those who receive ineffective ratings can be dismissed at the end of the school year. After two years, anyone twice rated as needing improvement—teachers rated a 1 or 2—also can be fired. Teachers rated in the bottom two categories also can be blocked from receiving a raise.
“This is a culture shift,” said Mindy Schlegel, who leads a new division within the Indiana Department of Education focused on educator effectiveness. “This is saying, ‘If you’re not good, you don’t deserve a raise.’ ”
How significant is this change? Consider this: Currently, many teachers are not observed even once a year. Few are rated as ineffective.
The reform is championed by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, who thinks the current system, which leaves evaluation up to each school, does not address poor performance. He pointed to a study of a sample of school districts that showed 99 percent of teachers were rated effective.
Bennett calls that a “statistical impossibility.”
Earlier this week, the Falls Church City Council honored dear ol’ Eduflack for his “dedicated service” on the Falls Church City School Board, noting “the City is grateful for your serving the students of the City and making the City of Falls Church Public Schools one of the highest-ranking school systems in the United States.”
Are teachers to blame for all that’s wrong with our public schools? Of course not. While many frustrated folks may want to put the blame squarely on the shoulders of educators, it simply isn’t the case. There are too many factors in the mix for any one individual to bear all the blame.