Sunday, December 20, 2015
It's Still Testing, Testing, And More Testing For The Teacher Evaluation System
Despite what you may be hearing from our UFT President, Michael Mukgrew, or the newspapers. The basic teacher evaluation system remains unchanged. True, the high-stakes Common Core based tests required by the State will not be used to rate teachers, at least for the next four years. Instead, the local measures, selected by the school district and approved by the State Department of Education, will be used. The local measures are also based upon testing and it will still be 50% of a teacher's grade! Once, educators, parents, and students realize that the teacher APPR will be unchanged and that their teacher will be teaching to the test, there will be an uproar that the State was just trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the parents. The result will be a surge in parents opting out their children from the State and local test requirements.
Obviously, the State politicians and the education department have failed to read the anger from parents, and teachers alike and have simply added air freshener to the stinking teacher evaluation system, complete with the "junk science" of the Value Added Method (VAM) that is supposed to account for student growth but is so filled with errors and false assumptions that it's almost useless as a tool to evaluate teachers and their students. This has been exposed in the groundbreaking lawsuit by a 4th grade teacher.
Last school year saw a huge rise in the "opt out" movement in the State, with a 20% 'opt out" rate. Once, the general public realize that the APPR has actually increased the testing component from the past 20% of a teacher's evaluation to 50%, look for a corresponding increase in the "opt out" rate.
It seems only an increasing "opt out" rate and dissatisfaction with the Governor's education agenda will end this vindictive and unfair teacher evaluation system and therefore, I support the "opt out" movement until the testing component is more realistic (5 to 10%) and fairer when it comes to grading students with age-appropriate tests.