Monday, May 27, 2013

NYC Educator: It Will Be a Reformy September

NYC Educator: It Will Be a Reformy September:

It Will Be a Reformy September

Next year, there will be a new evaluation system in place. No one knows precisely what it will be like since Reformy John of Albany has not made up his mind yet. We do know, however, that teachers will be judged by value-added methods. We have heard a number of arguments from the union as to why this is a good idea.

1. Principals have too much power under the current system. It's true that, via observations and whatever else makes principals decide, they can pretty much singlehandedly say thumbs up or thumbs down on any given teachers. And it's also true that there are crazy vindictive principals who do so for no good reason. The solution, according the UFT leadership, is to use multiple measures rather than leave it entirely within the hands of any principal.

Unfortunately, adding junk science to the mix does not precisely enhance the process. Here's the story of one teacher who got a crap VAM rating one year and an excellent one the next, through no discernible fault of his own. Here's another, a DC teacher regarded as excellent, but fired for VAM scores. Here's an excellent teacher in NYC, denied tenure for value-added scores.

In fact, with the value-added fairy in the picture, principals may have less power in evaluations. But it's likely their