Wednesday, July 15, 2015
More And More District 75 Teachers Have Stopped Working Summer School Due To The Stress Of The Teacher Evaluation System.
This summer a highly regarded District 75 school who had most of their teachers work the summer found, to their shock ,that a majority of the teachers refused to work over the summer. This was despite the fact that these teachers get federal 683 money or 17.5% of their pay to work the six weeks. This is essentially double their salary for the summer school position. The question is why did so many teachers opt out working the summer? The simple answer is the increased stress due to the teacher evaluation system and its only going to get worse.
Starting last year, many teachers found out that the State and DOE were insisting that teachers instruct their students in Common Core and academics when many of the students don't have the ability to function independently in the world they exist in. That's right District 75 teachers who used to teach "life skills" like taking their students to a supermarket and buy things by counting change are now being taught in the classroom Geometry and other academic subjects despite these students not being testable but are being tested anyway and their results are being used to evaluate their teacher.
Gone are the teaching of "life skills" such as counting change, dressing one self, taking mass transit, making simple meals, do domestic chores, and investigate their neighborhood. Skills necessary to be a functioning adult, Instead they are being taught about the Presidents, using Geometry to determine angles, and read non-fiction books. Many of the District 75 students are incapable of doing the academics demanded by the SED and the DOE but the teachers are told to do it anyway. Predictably, the results are terrible and many of the teachers saw their "highly effective" and "effective" ratings drop accordingly.
With the new, more punitive testing requirements imposed by the SED, their is a real danger that many District 75 teachers will be unfairly rated "developing" or even "ineffective" since the high-stakes test is 50% of a teacher's evaluation and these District 75 students will be assigned a grade, even the untestable ones if the State gets its way!
With the added stress of the Danielson rubric and the 50% high-stakes testing requirement for the teacher evaluation system, many District 75 teachers have decided not to work the summer as they prepare for the next school year with the real losers the special education students who lose their teachers for the summer months.
Children last...always. Especially the most needy!