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What Randi Really Said and Meant

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:08 PM
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What Randi Really Said and Meant
Last week, the nation's press reported something that most teachers found unbelievable: Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said that teachers should be evaluated by their students' test scores.

Teachers hate this idea because they know that teachers are not solely responsible for their students' scores. The students bear some responsibility, as do their families, for whether students do well or poorly on tests. District leaders bear some responsibility, depending on the resources they provide to schools. Teachers also are aware that the tests are not the only measure of what happens in their classrooms and that even the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said that we need better tests. There is a fairly sizable body of research demonstrating that test scores are affected by many factors beyond the teachers' control.
I was surprised too when I read the headlines and the press accounts.

But when I read Randi's speech on the AFT website, I discovered that the media stories were wrong. In fact, Randi offered a far more complicated and nuanced proposal than what was widely reported.

She laid out a far-ranging plan for evaluating teachers, which I suspect most teachers would find fair and reasonable. Here is what she said:
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:11 PM
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1. THAT clarifies it a little bit
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 07:20 PM by tonysam
But where was the media--ESPECIALLY the New York Times--on this?

Trashing teachers, of course, and using Michelle Rhee's outfit to trash them as "evidence."

Watch the video of her speech and judge for yourself.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:24 PM
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2. Gosh, sounds almost identical to Obama's plan
For instance, Randi also said, as part of her package of prescriptions, that the goal of evaluation was not merely to identify teachers who were good or bad, but to help teachers get better at their work throughout their careers. So she proposed that every district should offer "solid induction, mentoring, ongoing professional development, and career opportunities that keep great teachers in the classroom."

Exactly what Obama said, as is most of the rest of her remarks.

As to the teacher testing on entry and on exit, that's not really different than an end of year test. If they're talking about each teacher developing their own test, well that's the reason we've got standardized tests. Some teachers don't challenge the students enough.

If the author finds Weingarten's evaluation plan fair and reasonable, then there's no reason not to find Obama and Duncan's plan fair and reasonable.

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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:33 PM
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3. It fucking pisses me off though that most AFT members
don't seem to understand that you HAVE to have protections from wrongful dismissal and that is MORE important than namby-pamby courses to make them more professional in their teaching.

If asshole administrators are after you, no amount of teacher development classes is going to save you.
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