Sunday, March 22, 2015

My Reservations About PAR

I have tremendous respect for Julian Vasquez Heilig, but his latest piece challenging Brian Crowell's statistical analysis of PAR doesn't remove my very serious reservations about the policy.

Here is my position.The California school districts with PAR have seen the same decline in percentages of Black teachers and the same pushing out of high salaried veteran teachers as you see in urban school school districts like DC and NY who do not have PAR. PAR has not stopped those destructive trends. It makes the union complicit with those trends. I think it is time unions reject the entire Bad Teacher narrative and refuse to collaborate in any effort to blame bad teachers for poor school performance. PAR concedes too much at this point in history and disarms unions from the kind of life and death fight they need to make for their members. Some will disagree. But I think the time for compromise with the enemy- the union busting corporate leaders controlling education policy- is over. No more discourse of "accountability" No more school closings! No more ATR's! No more teacher jails! If school districts want to go on a witch hunt for Bad Teachers they should do it without union collaboration.