Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Will School Cheating Increase With The Flawed NYS Teacher Evaluation System? I Believe It Will.

Now that the Atlanta cheating scandal has resulted in indictments of 35 educators and a clamor to haul in Michelle Rhee and her underlings for the phony scores at Washington D.C. The question is what prompted the cheating in the first place?  It was the emphasis on test scores!  Even in New York there is a suspicion that many schools manipulated test scores to raise their school grades while the City and State officials and investigators chose to ignore the numerous complaints    You can go back to June 2010 when blogger JD2715 wrote a very detailed and informational piece about how the inept and terrible DOE investigators ignored the cheating and financial abuses at JFK High School in the Bronx that went back seven years! Now here we are in  a dawn of a new day when teachers and principals will be evaluated, in part, by student test scores.  These suspect  test scores, known by many educators as "junk science", will result in many good teachers losing their jobs simply because of the students they end up with and not because oi their teaching ability.  With regard to testing itself, Erika  Christakis said the following in her insightful article in Time Magazine when  it came to the education reformer's obsession with testing as the basis for good instruction.

  "Even if we eliminate all the cheating, what remains is a broken system built on the dangerous misconception that testing is a proxy for actual teaching and learning. Somehow, along the path of good intentions, testing stopped being seen as a diagnostic tool to guide good instruction and became, instead, the instruction itself. It’s as if a patient were given a biopsy, learned she had cancer, and was then told that no further medical treatment was necessary. If that didn’t sound quite right, we could just fire the doctor who ordered the test or scratch out the patient’s results and mark “cured” in the file".

Teachers will refuse to take the hardest to reach academically, English language learners, or special education students, simply because these groups represent the lowest scoring groups and will adversly affect the teacher's ratings.  In the past a student who had problems with one teacher would end up with another teacher.  However, no teacher will jeopardize his or her career by taking students that will lower their evaluation scores.  In fact, I see teachers going to great lengths in excluding students who will lower their scores. Furthermore, some schools will try to exclude some of these students from the evaluation system due to attendance or by other means to help the Principal and who can blame them?

The pressure on both teachers and principals to cheat, once test scores are factored in, will result in accusations of cheating throughout the system just like Atlanta and Washington D.C.  I predict that the flawed New York State evaluation system which is a "work in progress", will end up crashing since you can't fix a plane while airborne as New York State officials claim they will do, without it crashing.  The problem is how many teachers will end up being terminated before the plane actually crashes and the New York State evaluation system is proven to be faulty? 


Anonymous said...

A couple of points: 1) It seems that having "low performing" students might actually be better as they have more room to grow than high performing students. In other words kids with already high test scores don't have much room to improve. 2) The problem with teachers cheating on tests is that a great majority of teachers/administrators may end up cheating on tests. If that happens, then all the cheating in world will not help these teachers/administrators as they will all be competing against each other in the first place. Thus, it is a no win situation if everybody cheats it will not cause anybody to look "better" when everybody looks "good". I think the only way this test fetish nonsense will change is if parents start making such a stink that maybe the laws can be changed back to a more decent testing protocol.

Anonymous said...

Here is my complaint. What about teachers who do not teach academic subjects. What type of tests will there students be given . For example a gym teacher. What do they have to worry about. Administrators very rarely observe gym teachers. Whenever a person from the superintendents office walks in they always go to the academic teachers. Should not an academic teacher be paid more than a gym teacher. I think yes. Most of the per session money goes to gym teachers.But most of the workload is carried out by an academic teacher. It is a lot easier to be a gym teacher than an academic teacher. Academic teachers actually teach a full 42 minutes. Gym teachers only teach at most 30 minutes. On numerous occasions I went down to the cafeteria and the gym teacher was already down there eating his lunch. A school does not rise or fall because of a gym teacher. It rises or falls because of an academic teacher.

Anonymous said...

I am a physical education teacher with over 15 years on the job. You have a lot of nerve to think that PE teachers "don't have anything to worry about". I have news for you: There will be new assessments in PE as well as learning portfolios, and all the other ed-reform mandates that other teachers face. PE teachers get observed just as many times as classroom teachers and we are expected to create daily lesson plans, rubrics, year-long curriculums, meet with parents, send home information to parents, AND maintain the safety and education of up to 50 students at a time. (In fact, most middle schools and high schools combine PE classes and thus there can be over 100 students in a room who are expected to be engaged when a principal walks in with a Danieslon form on a clipboard) We deserve to get paid just as much as what any other classroom teacher gets due to the fact that we are professionals with masters degrees in our subject area and can handle the tremendous job of teaching with limited resources in small spaces with students of varied learning abilities. Could I teach high school chemistry? No, but could a high school chemistry teacher teach 100 middle schoolers PE? I think not as well. Until you walk in the shoes of a PE teacher, please don't judge us. We are all supposed to be in this fight together!

Anonymous said...

Hey phys ed teacher let me tell you something . I can easily do your job. But you would not last a week doing my job. Based on what I see I only wish I could go back in time and become a phys ed teacher. Lot more money ( most phys ed teachers in my school have at least two sports and two teachers have three least three.) I can not even get per session money and I teach high acadenic level courses.

I noticed that... said...

Tommy Sotomayor (Mr. Controversy) is Atlanta's hottest Radio Talk Show host. In his video, "Largest School CheatingScandal EVER As Black Teachers Deprive Black Kids of Education 4 Money", speaks about the injustice towards the kids.

This reminds of the principal at P.S. 33, Ms. Lopez, and her students' "miracle" 4th grade score. She's a minority; the students are minorities. And in 2005 the mayor used her "success" to succeed in his election. A year later Ms. Lopez retired and the students' scores, well, no miracle, but reality.

It's a must see video!

Anonymous said...

I have an evaluation question. The latest edition of Pravda, er the United Teacher, has an article about how principals will train teachers for the new eval process. What about the ATRs? Who trains them? Aren't they supposed to be evaluated?

By the way, I wonder if many of the Leadership Academy alums have the language capacity to read and understand the Danielson rubric? A friend told me that her principal complained in writing that teachers were "corrugating" in the hallways (he meant congregating). He later blamed a secretary and Word7 for his error.

It's time for a countdown clock - how many more days left before Hizzoner the Mayor(and his lap dog chancellor)leaves city hall and goes about correcting all the ills in the world.

estetik said...

I wonder if many of the Leadership Academy alums have the language capacity to read and understand the Danielson rubric.