Thursday, September 25, 2014

To La.’s Accountability Commission, As They ReVAMp Teacher Evals | deutsch29

To La.’s Accountability Commission, As They ReVAMp Teacher Evals | deutsch29:



To La.’s Accountability Commission, As They ReVAMp Teacher Evals

September 25, 2014
In 2010, Louisiana Representative Frank Hoffman authored the bill to include student test scores as part of teacher evaluations.
Hoffman said that he “would never do anything that would hurt good teachers”– an irony, since via his bill, Hoffman had decided that the definition of a “good teacher” is one whose value can be assessed via value-added modeling (VAM), a procedure with results shown to be highly erratic in piloting done after the bill was signed into law in May 2010.
Hoffman’s words in May 2010, as recorded in the Times-Picayune:
Hoffman replied that if the plan doesn’t work after two years, “I’ll be the first and the loudest arguing to do away with it.”
Well. It’s 2014; the pilot test results have been largely ignored, VAM was shelved in 2013-14 because (lo and behold), it did not magically and surgically separate the “bad” teachers from the “good,” and on September 25, 2014, Hoffman is quoted in the Baton Rouge Advocate as follows:
State Rep. Frank Hoffmann, a West Monroe Republican and sponsor of the 2010 law that overhauled the annual reviews, noted that he vowed four years ago to try to change the process again if problems surfaced.
“I’m not wanting to do away with it,” Hoffmann said. “I want to get it right.”
Uh huh.
The truth is that trying to tie any student test scores to teacher performance– whether via VAM or “student learning targets”– amounts to nothing more than a crap shoot.
Roll the dice, teachers. Your career is on the line, and all that you *control* is the toss of the dice. The outcome– how the dice *should* land– is set by those who haven’t a clue what they are doing.
Teachers cannot directly control student test scores except via unethical and dehumanizing tactics, yet we are being told that we must control the scores or be declared *ineffective.*
The September 25, 2014, Advocate article focuses on “the Accountability Commission, an influential, 17-member panel that includes teacher and other educators, school group leaders and parents.”
So, if we get a group of professionals together, we will (a John White favorite word) *tweak* this teacher-performance-as-gauged-by-student-test-scores issue in order to clearly separate the *ineffective* teachers from all who are *effective*; purge them from the classroom, and keep only the *effective* teachers, who will know they are valued and not flee the profession.
It cannot work.
Any incorporation of student test scores into teacher evaluations only introduces imprecision into the evaluation process. A (dare I write) *close reading* of the VAM study presented to legislators in February 2011 is evidence enough of the folly that this committee continues to pursue in the name of *effective* teaching if it insists upon including student test scores to gauge teacher value.
Test-driven “reform” likes to state that it is also “data driven” in its decisions.
I say to this committee: prove it.
Operationalize your definitions of “teacher effectiveness”– which, by the way, must be done by human beings using their human judgment– and then pilot test over time (I’m talking years) and varied teaching situations any and all proposed evaluation To La.’s Accountability Commission, As They ReVAMp Teacher Evals | deutsch29:

Barresi Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving for Anti-reform Education Activists | Life at the Intersections

Barresi Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving for Anti-reform Education Activists | Life at the Intersections:



BARRESI IS THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING FOR ANTI-REFORM EDUCATION ACTIVISTS

Barresi Superintendent
Janet Barresi, Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction



 Activism becomes easier if there is a big figure who is openly defiant and antagonistic toward the position of the activists. Think Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam War or Richard Nixon during the end of the anti-war protests and the Watergate hearings.



State Superintendent for Public Instruction Janet Barresi has been that bigger-than-life, openly hostile, antagonistic figure for anti-reform education activists in Oklahoma. Rather than coming from some experience of education in her background, she is a dentist who suspended her practice to run for the position.



Barresi’s campaign rhetoric during 2010 was strident and openly disrespectful of anyone who was an education professional at the time. It was as if education professionals, especially teachers, were her opponents rather than her actual opponent. Her tone hasn’t varied much in the last four years even though the position is designed as the top education leader of education leaders. Instead she has defined her position more as hostile cop.



For instance, at one training event she told listeners who she believed to be sympathetic to what she defines as “reform” to tell their detractors to “go to hell”. Of course someone shared the video of that. Oops.



A new genre of blogging was created in Oklahoma in direct response to her leadership at the SDE. Early in her administration, an activist writer who claims to work inside of the SDE started writing anonymously on their blog “OKEducationTruths” leveling harsh criticisms of Barresi’s policies and politics. The blog has garnered a large number of fans and followers.



Another education blogger of note is the well-known, accomplished Jenks Middle School Principal Rob Miller. Even though he identifies himself as being Republican, his personal blog, “A View From the Edge” has also captured a large following due to his straightforward criticisms of Barresi and the problems of the “reform” testing regime that captures much needed time and money of public schools.



Due to the many controversies of her “reform” administration, education has become it’s own active beat for Tulsa World and The Oklahoman reporters, normally being paired with religion writing and other topics considered to be not political.



Her abrasive style has led to some interesting personal encounters on the Board o f Education even after Governor Fallin installed her own hand-picked members that she thought would be more Janet Barresi, Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction http://bit.ly/1roMrsr

Thomas Kane On Educational Reform |

Thomas Kane On Educational Reform |:



Thomas Kane On Educational Reform



 You might recall from a prior post, the name of Thomas Kane, an economics professor from Harvard University who also directed the $45 million worth of Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) studies for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Not surprisingly as a VAM advocate, he advanced then, and continues to advance now, a series of highly false claims about the wonderful potentials of VAMs.

As highlighted in the piece Kane wrote, and Brookings released on its website on “The Case for Combining Teacher Evaluation and the Common Core,” Kane continues to advance a series of highly false claims and assumptions in terms of how “better teacher evaluation systems will be vital for any broad [educational] reform effort, such as implementing the Common Core.” Exerting series of “heroic assumptions” without evidence seems to be a recurring theme, which I cannot myself figure out knowing Kane’s an academic and quite honestly should know better.
Here are some examples of what I speak (and protest):
  • Educational reform is “a massive adult behavior change exercise…[U]nless we change what adults do every day inside their classrooms, we cannot expect student outcomes to improve.” Enter teachers as the new and popular (thanks to folks like Kane) sources of blame. We are to accept Kane’s assumption, here, that teachers have not been motivated prior to change their adult behaviors and teach their students well, help their students learn, improve their students’ outcomes, and the like.
  • Hence, when “current attempts to implement new teacher evaluations fall short—as they certainly will, given the long history of box-checking—we must improve them.” We are to accept Kane’s assumption here, despite the fact that little to no research evidence exists supporting that teacher evaluation systems improve much of anything including “improved student outcomes,” that new teacher evaluation systems based on carrot and stick measures are going to do this.
  • Positioning new and improved teacher evaluation systems against another Thomas Kane On Educational Reform |:

Nashville Public Radio | Survey Says Common Core Support Drops Drastically Among Tennessee Teachers

Nashville Public Radio | Survey Says Common Core Support Drops Drastically Among Tennessee Teachers:



Survey Says Common Core Support Drops Drastically Among Tennessee Teachers







 Last year, 60 percent of Tennessee teachers thought Common Core standards would improve student learning.  This year, that number has dropped to 39 percent.

The First to the Top survey conducted by Vanderbilt found that almost 40 percent now oppose the standards. Thirteen percent want to see implementation delayed.
The survey places teachers into three categories: those who are in favor; those who like the standards, but want them delayed; and those who want them gone completely.
Lucianna Sanson is one of those teachers who wants to see Common Core out of her classroom. She’s used the standards in her honors and AP English classes at Franklin County High School for two years.
“What you’re seeing in that survey is the difference between what we were told it was and a year of implementation,” Sanson says. “And that is why you have that drastic, drastic change. Because you start implementing it, and you’re like, ‘What is this?’”
Sanson is also the frustrated parent of a new kindergartener, who is being asked to write full sentences. She says this approach is not ideal.
“They are not teaching skill sets, they are teaching abstract concepts,” Sanson says. “Obviously, you need to learn concrete before you learn abstract.”
But state education commissioner Kevin Huffman says he’s found that most both legislators and educators have been calling for higher standards. Teachers who have received the most Common Core training are more comfortable in the classrooms.
“I think that if you talk to teachers and principals around the state, you find that most think their Nashville Public Radio | Survey Says Common Core Support Drops Drastically Among Tennessee Teachers:

Nite Cap 9-25-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT



James Baldwin said it best: 

"For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."


A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP




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YESTERDAY

9-24-14 @ The Chalk Face
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Nite Cap 9-24-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT
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