Friday, August 05, 2011

letter + response from Joanne Barkan re teacher value-added at Dissent

From Leonie Haimson:

See the critical comment on "Firing Line" from Claire Robertson-Kraft who is the Associate Director of Operation Public Education, a University of Pennsylvania project which has been instrumental in promoting value-added modeling.

And Joanne Barkan's response at this link:.

Barkan has a  great rebuttal you should read; here are some other points of my own:

"Most of the reformers’ systems are not simply focused on measuring performance and dismissing teachers, but also on providing them with more robust mentorship and meaningful ongoing professional development."

Umm, not really! They focus on simplistic and reductionist methods of evaluation to push as many teachers out schools asap.  Hanushek has said that 5-10% of teachers should be fired each year.  There is nothing if the corp reform agenda that really deals with giving teachers more support or a better chance of success.

As I see it, the issue isn’t with the elements of the reforms themselves. Rather, it’s a matter of the process used to design and implement the new systems. Largely driven from the top-down, these initiatives are being rolled out much too quickly without garnering the input of teachers and other stakeholders that would be necessary to sustain the efforts over time.

No, the elements of reforms themselves are essentially destructive and anti-thetical to good teaching.  This is like Joel Klein saying his biggest error is not communicating his policies better to parents.

Rather than engaging in polarizing discussion, we should be focusing our efforts on supporting promising legislation like a recent Illinois education law—which brought multiple stakeholders to the table to work together as partners in reform.

Yes, Jonah Edelman of Stand for Children told the truth about that; how he outfoxed and outgamed the teachers unions – in part by offering millions of dollars to state legislators to push his essentially anti- teacher legislation.

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