Saturday, February 25, 2017

The disaster plan. Illinois’ teacher evaluation. | Fred Klonsky

The disaster plan. Illinois’ teacher evaluation. | Fred Klonsky:

The disaster plan. Illinois’ teacher evaluation.



-By Mark Stefanik
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Having just experienced the new teacher evaluation process in my district, I’ve had my fears confirmed.  It is a coercive instrument whose first purpose is not to improve teachers, but to control them.  It is a negative metric which creates and seeks flaws. It is a checklist for ‘Wuzza’ teachers who have mutated into administrative hacks. It is a template for mediocrity.
Under the grand banner of improving public education, the pinky-ringed wizards of Springfield enacted a law that turned an essential truth – that teachers are the most important element in schooling – on its head.  If there’s something wrong with schools,  there must be something wrong with teachers.  Put another way, a simpleton’s syllogism swayed the sages of the statehouse:
There are problems with public education.
Teachers are the most important element in schools.
Therefore, there are problems with teachers.
Oh, the ideas that this bit of reckless reasoning inspired.  Oh, the strange bedfellows it rallied.  Billionaire dilettantes linked arms with working class mothers.  Tax policy conservatives swayed PTA parents into charter school advocates.  Union bashers recruited the voiceless and disenfranchised, the very folks that unions protected.
Forget inadequate funding.  Forget socio-economic factors.  Forget prejudice.  Ignorance and Want gave the politicos an early Christmas present.  A consensus swept the land.  Fix the teachers and we fix our schools. 
And so, in 2011, SB7 was born.  It went right to the heart of the teacher problem.  
We’ll make teachers better by diminishing their rights and protections, and, it only follows, that this will improve the classrooms. Which will improve our kids.  Which will The disaster plan. Illinois’ teacher evaluation. | Fred Klonsky:


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