Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Debating Cuomo Plan for Teacher Ratings « Diane Ravitch's blog

Debating Cuomo Plan for Teacher Ratings « Diane Ravitch's blog:

Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch

Debating Cuomo Plan for Teacher Ratings

Governor Andrew Cuomo has come up with a compromise on the issue of releasing teacher data rankings. He wants only parents to see the rankings and data reports for their children’s teachers, but to make public the data for individual classes and schools. This is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go far enough.
It doesn’t satisfy the tabloids, who want every teacher’s name and ranking to be published online and in print. Like Mayor Bloomberg, they believe that the rankings are an accurate reflection of teacher quality and should be freely displayed, perhaps on posters in the postoffice.
It doesn’t satisfy me either because I know based on research and experience that the rankings are inaccurate, unstable and will sully the reputation of good teachers. How are parents helped by seeing inaccurate ratings? How are teachers helped to improve, as Bill Gates pointed out in an article in the New York Times earlier this

The Perils of Teaching in California

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 hour ago
A reader writes from California about the churn and instability caused by the toxic combination of annual budget cuts and an open door for unregulated charters. I met a teacher in Los Angeles recently who told me he had been “pink slipped” six years in a row, called back each time, then pink-slipped again. What [...]

Is Tennessee the Worst State?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 1 hour ago
A reader in Tennessee nominates his state as the worst in the nation in terms of implementing the usual stale ideas to “reform” the schools. How could it not be in contention to win the race to the bottom when it was one of the first states (Delaware was the other) to win the Race [...]

Will North Carolina Say No to K12?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 hours ago
A majority of school boards in North Carolina are opposing the opening of a K12 online charter school. They understand that the North Carolina Virtual Academy will drain millions of dollars from the budgets of the state’s public schools. K12, the nation’s largest for-profit online charter corporation, persuaded one school board to sponsor its operation [...]

Federal Study: Charters and Special Education

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 hours ago
The General Accounting Office, which is the federal government’s watchdog agency, just issued a report concluding that charter schools are failing to enroll a fair share of students with disabilities. Advocates of students with special needs have complained about this for the past few years, and it is now confirmed. The report showed that special-education [...]

Are You For Sale?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 hours ago
The New York Times had an informative but frankly alarming article about the research that maps out every fact about each of us. The article is called “You For Sale: A Data Giant is mapping, and sharing, the consumer genome.” The article describes the vast “data-mining” business that collects, stores, and sells about 1,500 data [...]

How Are Police and Teachers Alike These Days?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 hours ago
Read this article, which documents how data-driven policing has caused police to report statistics wrongly, classify crimes as more or less serious depending on the quota needed to fill, and has created constructs of “productivity” that warp the goals of policing. What is the primary goal of policing? To keep our communities safe and crime-free. [...]

Change.Org Drops Rhee and Edelman

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 2 hours ago
In an earlier post, I described how Michelle Rhee’s Students First collects “members” whenever anyone unwittingly signs a petition at for a “kittens and puppies” cause or when they agree that they respect teachers. This is deceptive advertising. It turns out that Jonah Edelman’s Stand for Children also benefited by misleading people who signed [...]

Test Scores or Creativity?

dianerav at Diane Ravitch's blog - 3 hours ago
An earlier post considered whether standardized tests were necessary or useful in the arts. Several arts teachers responded to say that they are not only NOT necessary and NOT useful, but they are actually harmful. They miss the point of arts education and they distort instruction. I agree. This comment makes the case even stronger. [...]