Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cuomo throws in the towel on teacher quality

I am hard pressed to decide who is  more opposed to effective teacher evaluations: the teachers union or administrators. We don't need test scores to evaluate teachers. Unfortunately, most administrators are not good evaluators. In many, if not most, cases administrators were not gifted teachers themselves.  (That's  often exactly why they became administrators.)

We should evaluate teachers, but we shouldn't fire ineffective teachers. We should just give teachers jobs commensurate with their abilities. Plenty of classroom activities can be done by less-than-brilliant teachers and we can use the best teachers to train the less gifted teachers. Heaven  knows administrators aren't good at training teachers. Here is my plan to share responsibility for student learning between a regular teacher and a part-time master teacher.

Would a guarantee to not fire ineffective teachers get the teachers union on board? I think it might. The main goal of the teachers union seems to be to protect the teachers who have political connections. Sadly, these union leaders and their cronies are not generally the most effective teachers. Why don't we protect their jobs, and protect the kids at the same time?
--Maura Larkins

 Cuomo throws in the towel on teacher quality
December 19, 2015
Gov. Cuomo once called himself the “students’ lobbyist.” Now he’s got a new message: Sorry, kids — maybe someday.

On Tuesday, the Board of Regents officially said amen to that. In a near-unanimous vote, the board took the recommendations of a Cuomo panel and banned any serious consequences for rotten teachers — no matter how embarrassing their students’ scores on state tests.

Teachers who can’t teach, in other words, will get to keep standing in front of whiteboards, confidant that no one will ever lay a glove on them. And too bad on the kids.

True, the new no-consequences rule is supposed to last “only” four years. “At least” is a lot more like it...
Rewind to 2010: State lawmakers, drooling over hundreds of millions in bribe money from Washington, required schools to use test scores in deciding a teacher’s future employment.

But the lawmakers’ plan, as Cuomo would later say, was “unworkable by design.”...

Just last week, the state reported its latest teacher-rating stats: Nine out of 10 teachers scored as “effective” or better — even though two out of three kids continue to flunk the tests...

In Cuomo’s case, because the teachers unions (with help from the likes of West­chester County Exec Rob Astorino) have managed to panic massive numbers of parents into “opting out” of having their kids take the tests. Those parents are voters...

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew boasted of his “gum up the works” battle to prevent evaluations in the city...

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