Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Orwellian Components of the Teacher Evaluation System that Duncan, Bloomberg and Cuomo are Trying to Impose in New York City and New York State

Let me clarify something about the teacher evalution system that Arne Duncan is threatening to withhold 1 billion dollars from New York State if it doesn't implement. Right now, in NY City elemenatary schools, testing only occurs in two grades, in two subjects. If you are going to have a comprehensive system of teacher evaluation, you then have to impose standarized tests in all grades, including kindergarten and in all subjects, including art, music and gym! Creating those tests will cost tens of millions of dollars, money that will have to be taken away from school budgets used to hire teachers. The result will be higher class size! And who gets the funds that to create the new tests? Test companies like McGraw Hill and Pearson! That's the economic dimension. And then there is the human dimension-- students being tested from the moment they enter the school in every subject they take. The result is that class time will be little more than test prep, within even the arts being geared largely to quantifiable skills. If anyone thinks that the result will be a more equitable and productive educational system, and better teaching and learning, try to imagine putting into practice what I have just described. That this nightmare scenario is somehow described as the current manifestation of the "Civil Rights Struggle" is something so bizarre that even George Orwell could not have imagined it

1 comment:

Second Career Bronx Teacher said...

FYI: kids in NYC/NYS take state tests in reading and math in grades 3-8 as well as science in grades 4 and 8. They were also tested in Social Studies in grades 5 and 8 until last year when they were eliminated as a cost saving measure by the State Regents.

The kids are tested to death. Teachers are at the mercy of principals who mismanage resources and supports as well as the overall reduction in resources due to the fiscal crisis the last few years.

I only hope that the public will start holding the mayor accountable (what ever happened to the "buck stops here") instead of the blame put on the classroom teacher and not the principals, network leaders and district superintendents who manage, supervise and support multiple failing schools and a mayor who has had control of the schools for a decade!!! I have to believe that the public, especially the parents whose children are in the public schools will be able to look past the rhetoric and understand that management needs to be held accountable, teachers are supervised by principals who GRANT tenure to teachers. The public needs to ask how many of these administrators who have direct accountability for these schools have received satisfactory performance ratings??? My understanding is that it is 97%+. Why is Bloomberg not wondering how that happened under his watch?? Teacher evaluations is such a hot topic but how are these superintendents, network leaders and principals evaluated??? What about their evaluation system???