Thursday, July 10, 2014

UPDATE: Marie Corfield: NJ BOE Testimony Part II + Educators stand up, speak out, fight back: NJBOE Testimony Part l

Marie Corfield: Educators stand up, speak out, fight back: NJBOE Testimony Part l:

NJ BOE Testimony Part III: Horror Stories from Paterson
Be sure to check out NJEA member testimony at the NJ State Board of Education Parts I and II. So, you think you have it bad. You think your administrators didn’t fully implement the new evaluation system. You think you could have gotten a higher score in this domain or that. How would you like to be an educator in a state controlled district? Paterson Education Association member, Gennaro Torto

NJ BOE Testimony Part II: Was human error or intentional omission to blame for PARCC pilot report?
In part 2 of this series of posts on NJEA's July 9th lobby day at the state Board of Ed, Spanish teacher and education activist, Heidi Maria Brown, questions Data Commissioner Bari Erlichson's obvious omission of any negative feedback on the state's PARCC trials, and why some board members have not done more to get to the truth.◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊Good afternoon. My name is Heidi Maria Brown. I’m

Educators stand up, speak out, fight back: NJBOE Testimony Part l

Yesterday was an NJEA Lobby Day at the NJ State Board of Education, and as usual, our members didn't disappoint. There was a good crowd, among which were many first-time speakers. I'm proud to be part of an association that includes so many articulate and passionate educators who know the facts and are not blinded by empty rhetoric nor cowed by bullying and aggression. I'm optimistic that the number of new speakers is a sign that more voices will join what I call 'The Fight' as we inch closer to PARCC testing madness. In the next few posts I'll be highlighting some of the testimony.

NJEA has been pressuring the state board and the state legislature to slow down the implementation of the PARCC testing and form a task force to study the efficacy of the tests and the Common Core. S2154/A3081, the bill originally sponsored by Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland), made it out of committee and the assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support. As of this writing, we are anxiously waiting to see if Senate President Steve Sweeney will post it for a vote. Save Our Schools NJ has been posting updates on their Facebook page as information becomes available, and NJ Spotlight is reporting that Gov. Christie may opt for some sort of compromise. The details are still unclear, but a decision could be made this week. 

What is very clear however, is that educators all across the state are overwhelmed by the increased burden of teaching to a test that has never been proven to do what it claims to do. Far too much instructional time is now devoted to test prep of one form or another, and far too little time is available for educators to do the job right. And starting with the 2014-2015 school year, we go live with this new evaluation system where PARCC scores count for 30% of some educators' summative evaluations.   

The following testimony is from 7th grade math educator, Mary Steinhauer. She highlights the fact that, when PARCC goes live, educators may be working for 6 additional months before they know the results of their evaluation. If the aim of this new system is to weed out all those 'bad teachers', why would it be structured so as to let them remain on the job an additional half year?


There are three things I would like to discuss with you today:
  1. Evaluations
  2. Testing - PARCC
  3. SGO/SGP scoring

First, I want to say thank you for allowing me this time to address you. I am a 35+ years classroom teacher representing Burlington County Education Association as the Marie Corfield: Educators stand up, speak out, fight back: NJBOE Testimony Part l: