Wednesday, January 1, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: The Ground Level Ed Reform Decade Retrospective

CURMUDGUCATION: The Ground Level Ed Reform Decade Retrospective

The Ground Level Ed Reform Decade Retrospective

Yeah, it's time for everyone to do decade lists (including "Ten Reasons The New Decade Doesn't Start For Another Year") from the list of education faces that Alexander Russo is doing on Twitter to this absolutely-the-only-list-you-need-to-read from Audrey Watters, "The 100 Worst Ed Tech Debacles of the Decade."

I'm not going to try to sum up the decade in education. Or rather, I'm going to sum up my decade. Because while most of these lists will take a look-from-the-stratosphere view, balancing policies and historical nuance etc blah blah blah, I want to talk about what it all looked like on the ground. We can talk about the decade in policy all day, but from the perspective of a classroom teacher, it was ten years of worsening train wreck. So this is my story. It matters not because it happened to me, but because it's one example of what happened to many many classroom teachers.

By 2009, there was a feeling in the air, a sensed that the earth under our teacher feet was becoming wobbly.

First and foremost, there was No Child Left Behind and the testing regimen attached to it. For the first several years the growth requirement (average yearly progress) was almost attainable, but by decade's end we were looking at targeted gains that were insanely high, culminating in 2014, when all students were supposed to be proficient on the test. There was no question that we were all going to fail-- was this what our leaders wanted?

In 2009 I sat through a state workshop about PVAAS, the value-added model that was being implemented to judge us as teachers. I described it at the time for my local newspaper audience:

PVAAS uses a thousand points of data to project the test results for students. This is a highly complex model that three well-paid consultants could not clearly explain to seven college- CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: The Ground Level Ed Reform Decade Retrospective