Monday, July 12, 2010

The Underbelly: Teacher Pay Linked to Student Evaluations

"If I were a veteran teacher in Hillsborough, I would take to the hills, now!" Leonie Haimson

There was much talk and excitement post Gates speech about Bill Gates and the AFT Innovation Fund. Hillsborough was a major point of contact - or attack. Read Leonie's post carefully to see where this is headed. Pay scales based on the results on tests.
It is worth checking out Valerie Strauss' posts at WaPo.

I also have some links to Ed Week and EIA from AFT and NEA - though as always, EIA is anti-union and Ed Week's Sawchuk has to be parsed.

My huffington post piece has been reprinted by Valerie Strauss and is in her WaPost blog today:
please go there and leave a comment!
See also in today's Post the article below; which sort of proves my point.

Since January 2008, more than 250 Gates grants have targeted causes such as charter schools, testing research, data systems, science and math education and common academic standards...

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who has recruited some key aides from the charity, described the foundation as "one of many stakeholders really interested in seeing things get better. I appreciate their commitment and stick-to-itiveness. They're in this for the long haul."

So the Gates foundation is one of the key stakeholders; but where are public school parents? Nowhere to be found.

The Wapost reporter goes into length about the new Gates-supported teacher eval system in Hillsborough:

Every year, teachers here will be evaluated on a formula based on student achievement gains (40 percent), principal observation (30 percent) and peer observation (30 percent). By 2013, a four-tier pay scale will take effect that will reward high performers regardless of their academic degrees or years of experience -- a major break from precedent. Veteran teachers will be allowed to remain in the seniority-based pay scale or opt into the new one. New teachers will not have a choice and will be subject to more rigorous scrutiny before gaining tenure.

I predict the system will be totally unreliable; as based 40% on test score gains, (which fluctuate wildly from year to year, and are reliant on many factors out of the teachers' control. ) Only 30% will be based on peer evaluation, by full time teacher"evaluators" expert in using "data", and none on the views of parents and/or students, who obviously don't count in these people's minds.

And as all merit pay schemes have shown so far, it will be an awful waste of money and probably wreck morale as 20 year veterans will see their incomes slide up and down.

Also see this, not from this piece but another;

"Hillsborough officials told the foundation they expected to fire at least 5 percent of the district's 8,500 tenured teachers each year for low performance, once a new evaluation system is established. ....With more precise evaluations, they predicted rating at least 15 percent of all teachers as "performing well below expectations" and in need of further support or dismissal."

If I were a veteran teacher in Hillsborough, I would take to the hills, now!

Leonie Haimson


  1. You may recall that when Jack Welch was brought in as a name-brand consultant early in the Bloomberg/Klein regime, there was much talk about his recommendation to fire the bottom 10% producers every year, as he did during his time at GE.

    That's exactly what is going on here, with "data" being used as the rationale and lever. The end result will be the same: instability and churning of the workforce, and a pervasive culture of cheating and deception.

    The data and numbers, what "counts" and what doesn't, and their significance, will in this regime always be under the control of management, and they will use them as weapons against schools and teachers.

  2. The Hillsborough situation is exactly what Ianuzzi and Mulgrew attempted to head off in their agreement with the state. We don't have 40% or 50% ours is 20%. Klein's idea of peer review or value added won't be the last word. He can't unilaterally impose what he thinks constitutes a "fair review".

  3. John D. Radical,

    Sorry, but 40% it is for UFT members: 20% state tests and 20% city, still to be determined.

  4. It was supposed to be determined and negotiated, but will go into effect this September in 11 city schools scheduled for "transformation" rather than closure. The buzz when this originally popped up was that if no negotiated settlement were possible, we'd continue with the current system. However, they've now committed to the new system in 11 schools, and I have to doubt it won't come to all in September 2011, perhaps not so ironically 9/11.

    Teachers rated ineffective 2 years in a row will be dismissed in 60 days, as a result of this innovation in conjunction with the rubber room agreement. Tenure or no.

    This agreement was peddled as preferable to the 50% agreement Weingarten helped negotiate in Colorado, if I recall correctly. Perhaps some rely on the good graces of their principals to not judge teachers ineffective based on the 40% test score model.

    Pardon me if I lack that level of faith in principals.

  5. That Colorado program was also created by Weingarten barging into the state (which has hardly any AFT members), pushing the NEA locals out of the way and negotiating a sweetheart deal with the ed deformers.

  6. John D...are you serious? MF is correct. 40% Still to be determined...yes as it begins in eleven schools this coming term...where some teachers will receive merit pay for being masters...where these same masters can help a principal u rate another union brother or sister...

    we didn't have to worry about this until the gates experiment was over and then whoops...nothing to worry about because it's 40% and not 100%...and then whoops we still have another year before it goes into effect...and then goes into effect now but only for eleven schools and whoops...and whoops...and everything is great because Mulgrew says it is...don't worry about it...we're outfoxing em. What a bunch of's so embarrassing!

    The funniest article was in the Daily News last month about the up and coming old school labor leaders which featured Mulgrew...the media loves guys like Mulgrew and gals like Weingarten and the rest of labor who have no problem bending over to capital...we gotta be smart...holy about appeasement...

    hey how about the afl-cio rally and march...the big message...text a message to D.C that says "reform" then march on Wall Street...except wait a minute...there was no march on Wall was a march on Broadway...all the way past Wall Street and then the big bad bull which had more police officers surrounding it then all of the other parts of the parade, I mean rally combined. And lots of NYPD videographers and photographers...and marched we went right down to the Native American Museum (hmm can anyone say "genocide" of unionism) where we were...are you ready...told to disperse...that's rallying march on Wall Street...what a laugher...KARMA will be a bitch

    P.S. The UFT has yet to come out with any statement regarding the whys and hows of the new 11 school agreement. The only link on the uft website is a daily news article that discusses the agreement. Nothing on edwize either. why? you know the answer...they know it's rottnen...they are trying to get their ducks in order. PATHETIC.

  7. Faculty Senate “Guidelines/Principles for the Use of Student Teaching Evaluations” and Evaluation that is used for the purpose of self-improvement is defined as “formative evaluation”. The instructor collects student and peer perceptions of teaching effectiveness solely for the purposes of modifying and enhancing teaching strategies.


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