Personally, I am sick and tired of being blamed for student academic issues, misbehavior, and their poor choice of friends that I have no control of. Yet, under Barack Obama's misguided Race To The Top, all teachers must be evaluated on student growth factors using "junk Science". In New York State, 50% of a teacher's evaluation is based upon the useless Value Added Method (VAM) which has been found to be invalid in a court case.
In fact, a most quoted study by the American Statistical Association found that a teacher's impact on a student ranges from as little as 1% for middle and high school students to 14% for early elementary school students who stay with one teacher during the school day. Other studies show that schools make up approximately 20% of the growth of a child. The remaining 80% of student growth is based upon social-economic factors that schools have no control of and include the following.
- Role models
Ask school Deans about the problem students in their school and you find there is a common factor like that few have a father that is part of the family. Moreover, they have friends who are known troublemakers and may be part of a gang. Finally, many of them have developmental issues and are usually placed in Special Education classes. The child advocates will loudly proclaim that school discipline is "racist" because most suspensions and arrests are Black or Latino boys. Duh, the New York City Public Schools have a majority of Black and Latino students and boys of all races are usually associated with more serious school incidents then the girls.
Yet, student social-economic factors and poverty are ignored simply because its too hard and complicated to cure. Therefore, a convenient scapegoat is needed and since you cannot blame the dysfunctional family or a community who's male role models are hanging on the street corners, day or night, selling drugs, gambling, or participating in other illegal activities, just blame it on the schools, especially the teachers for student academic problems!
We have a progressive Mayor and a union that is part of the problem by ignoring the social-economic factors that affect student growth and while I understand the Mayor's ideology that its better to place the blame on society's failure to improve the social-economic conditions of the City on Donald Trump and the schools, while ignoring the highest class sizes in the State, use of uncertified teachers, and pushing out veteran educators by the flawed 3020-a discipline process, our union gets no such pass. Our union should be loudly and clearly pointing out the city's failure to correct the social-economic issues that plague far too many students and interfere with student academic achievement. Yet, our union remains passively silent as the City and the DOE continues to blame teachers for student issues beyond their control.