Teachers are more than a test score

WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203918304577241910154050128.html?mod=e2tw

New York City plans to release on Friday internal rankings of about 18,000 public schoolteachers who were measured over three years on their ability to affect student test scores.  The city planned to make the data public after a yearlong legal battle with the United Federation of Teachers, which sued to block the release and protect teachers’ privacy.  News organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, had requested the data in 2010 under the state Freedom of Information Law.  Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who has pushed for accountability based on test scores, cautioned that the data were old and represented just one way to look at teacher performance…..”Public education is paid for by the public, used by the public and of crucial public concern, so this data should be made public,” said the Journal’s managing editor, Robert Thomson. …..(WSJ)

I'm sorry KC, we've been working as hard as ever for our students! Parents may in fact be more informed than ever. Ask our students if they feel injured by our legal right to protest your government intransigence. You seem to ignore that BCPSEA hasn't moved any items either!

I read articles like this NY story and no longer laugh or shake my head because the rights of British Columbia public school teachers has been blatantly abused this past decade.  Assuming that standardized state test score performance is a measure of a teacher’s skills and efforts is absurd. Children’s performances on anything is a diverse multi-layered reality. There are many external forces like family, poverty, ability, health, experiences… A gifted teacher cold be doing a fabulous job with a set of kids who do not achieve on the often poorly designed exams. One size fits all thinking is grotesquely inaccurate.  Teachers are not building widgets or cars where quality control off the line has fixed concrete measures. Evaluating human beings is just not well suited to the Henry Ford model of productivity.  When the BC government demands that teachers ‘give up’ something in order to pay for any salary items, they cannot work faster and sell more widgets- they have already had the classroom resources and services stripped away for a decade and their efforts and professionalism has kept the system buoyant but it is seriously under duress. Working harder, faster with less only goes so far.  If teacher’s are unjustly evaluated by lack of due process or poorly conceived accountability measures using student exam results is a sure fire way to weaken the ranks not punish the unions.  The pool of educated and skilled professionals will be harder to recruit than it already is. Unlike the province of BC,  where career professional teachers once flourished and helped raise the learning experiences of public school kids to a world class ranking; teaching will become only a  short term transient period of employment.  To ensure quality learning over the long term, we need committed, skilled and passionate educators who thrive under an atmosphere of trust and collaboration not political adversity.  When the teaching environment is eroded so follows the learning environment.  We should all be loudly voicing our anger about the maligning propaganda that continues to demonize working people in order to pander to the interests of the conservative elite. Our society is not served by the slide toward fascist logic.  – Al Smith


About KSS Library

Teacher-librarian at Kelowna Secondary School, Kelowna, BC, Canada 1079 Raymer Ave, Kelowna, British Columbia
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