The rub in the Times report is this statement:
Anticipating significant budget cuts to New York City schools in the coming year, Chancellor Joel I. Klein ordered principals on Wednesday to stop hiring teachers from outside the system, a move that will force them to look internally at a pool that, according to an independent report, includes many subpar teachers.
The report, released last year by the New Teacher Project, which recruits and trains educators for school systems, estimated that the pool cost the city $81 million over two years.
Independent? The New Teacher Project is independent? What are people at the NY Times drinking? Have they looked at the funding sources of the New Teacher Project, founded incidentally by anti-union attack dog Michelle Rhee? Did the Times think to report on the amount of contracts the NTP gets from Klein to train new teachers, funding they may now lose if there are no new teachers to be hired? Is there just a tad of a conflict of interest with this "independent" report?
Timothy Daly, who runs the New Teacher Project, said he was worried that principals would no longer be able to find the best fits for their schools. “Schools are going to have great teachers who they would like to hire, who they won’t be able to hire,” Mr. Daly said. “It can’t be best for kids.”
Sniff, sniff. I'm weeping. Sure Tim. It's all about what's best for the kids.
Shame on reporter Javier Hernandez and the editors at the Times and for tainting 1100 ATRs. But we always knew they had a dog in this race.
Maybe GEM should march on to the NY Times after finishing up at Tweed on May 14.
UPDATE from Eduwonkette posted at Gotham Schools:
A point of clarification on this point from the New Teacher Project’s report that you cited, i.e. “By September 2007, unselected excessed teachers from 2006 were six times as likely to have received a prior “Unsatisfactory” rating as other New York City teachers.”
If you read the footnotes in their report, 81 percent of teachers in the ATR have never received an Unsatisfactory rating. Only 6 percent of all teachers in the ATR - about 14 teachers - have received an unsatisfactory rating more than once in their careers.
Beyond these facts, I have no idea to what extent this pool represents great or terrible teachers, and the important point to remember is that no one really knows. It’s not reasonable or fair to indict the entire group based on the very misleading “six times” TNTP sound bite. If someone else applied this kind of statistical discrimination to other groups - for example, by establishing the probability of an outcome like incarceration or welfare receipt by gender, class, or race and characterizing the entire group - we would all be up in arms.