Thursday, May 19, 2011

Please Explain To Me How The New York State Method Of "Value Added" Can Be Used For What This Teacher Does On A Daily Basis?


Now that New York State has come up with their ridiculous teacher evaluation scheme to determine whether a teacher is "effective" or "ineffective" It would be easy to tear this program apart. However, this post will not explore the many uncertainties, problems, or the mathematical formula that would need the IBM supercomputer "Watson" to figure out. Instead, I will write about a certain teacher who spends both her lunch and preparation periods to help struggling students, without any monetary compensation.

The teacher I am talking about is a senior teacher, close to retirement, and looking forward to the days she can travel the world anytime she wants. It would be easy for this teacher, with over 30 years of experience, to coast her way into retirement. Instead, day after day you can find this teacher sitting on the floor with her back against the wall in the hallway outside the teacher's cafeteria working with a struggling student who had sought her out for help in mastering the subject. Many of these students are her students, but quite a few are students of other teachers who have heard that this teacher is always available to work with them. I have never seen her refuse any student who needed her help.

Here is a women, a "baby boomer", who is working with students on a daily basis sitting on the floor along a well traveled hallway to help any student that needs her services. My question is how does the State's teacher evaluation system account for what this teacher does? What value is added to her grade for her sacrifice of personal time for the students in need? The answer is that the teacher evaluation system cannot determine what she does in her "value added" grade and that is the problem. Because for the many students she helps on a daily basis it is a "no-brainier" that to them she is "highly effective", no matter what grade she would end up with under the New York State teacher evaluation system. What this women does has no numerical value but is "priceless" when it comes to the students that seek her help.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Rod said...

the new paradigm is data analysis. this perspective doesn't allow for the example you gave. it doesn't analyze physical education, art, music, crafts, shop and probably the most important relationship in education....the relationship and joy of teaching children in a trusted environment.
we have become driven like our wall st overseer. of course without the monetary or professional compensation. and the resultant lack of dignity and low morale. thanks....

Anonymous said...

And just like Wall St., and the major corps... they change the data to suit their needs...accurate or fraudulent...it doesn't matter. Like the Goldman/AIG credit swap fiasco, GE paying no taxes, Bernie Madoff, if THESE are the standards they're bringing to public ed., Lord help us. Most teachers I've met over the years are literally on the Mother Teresa level, compared to this corporate, finance scum that has ruined, and continues to ransack this country.

Anonymous said...

amen to that!

Emma Goldman's Ghost said...

There's a teacher I know who fits this description. She's an amazing selfless teacher who has added value to our profession, but more importantly values the lives of the children she teaches. "Value-added" is part of the false paradigm of data analysis that is PURPOSELY destroying teaching in this country.

Rita Cat said...

Thanks Chaz, I think I missed it when you first posted. You are a great teacher too. I have seen how you give 200% of yourself to students.

Alana said...

One of my cousins teaches first grade in Orlando. She's in her mid 60's now. I wonder what she would think of this. I do know what she thinks of certain political things that have happened in education more recently.