A must read article at Gotham.
"The Obama administration official in charge of an educational innovation fund yesterday issued a warning to a New York audience: Unless the state legislature revises a law now on the books about teacher tenure, the state could lose out on the $4.35 billion fund she controls."
The official is Joanne Weiss, "who worked at the New Schools Venture Fund before heading to Washington..." Think she has a dog in the race? Talk about rating teachers based on value added assessment when there is no system proved to work is like saying we should start mining the moon with a shovel. Gee, has anyone been working on systems rating doctors, lawyers and even politicians on value added systems?
"Weiss was in town to discuss The New Teacher Project’s report “The Widget Effect,” which was released last month and urged districts to overhaul their teacher performance evaluations."
Ho-ho-ho. The unbiased NTP being taken seriously by an Obama official. This country is in real trouble.
The Gotham article is linked here:
Sorry, John. Don't expect the AFT to do much more than cheer lead. The attack on tenure by the Obama administration is just the cover the UFT and NYSUT need to duck out of the way as tenure law in NYS is gutted.
Call her bluff.
If moderate reformers in the AFT don’t have the guts to stand firm on this, the backlash will be awful.
If a state as powerful as NY doesn’t have the guts to stand firm on this, others will crumble. OK, a “reformer” has had her say. Obama has bigger fish to fry, but there is a natural compromise that should be a no-brainer to him. The firewall on teacher indicators will be dropped when a firewall is created to keep test data from being used in evaluations. We could still move ahead with the Denver Plan and the Toledo Plan and similar approaches.
After all, it makes sense to use test scores when appropriate as in performance incentives. But it doesn’t make sense where it is not appropriate, as in evaluations where it could destroy the career of good and effective teachers.
I want the AFT to support Obama, regardless. But I’d like my union to be willing to announce the formation of a major litigation fund to destroy any schemes for using test scores for evaluation. I want districts to know that they will lose more in legal fees than they will gain in Race to the Top Funds if they go down that path.
Then when we drive a stake through the hearts of that mentality, I want my union to go back to being as moderate and willing to compromise as possible. If we want sustainable progress for kids, we can’t get punked on this.
If we lose this one, what self-respecting person would make a career teaching in high-poverty schools? We owe this to our profession.
As a matter of fact, the dysfunctional state leg doesn't even have to be involved. Watch the upcoming UFT contract, which takes precedence over tenure law, as the UFT will trade money for what will appear to be minor modifications but over time turn out to be disaster.