This article is the first I've seen in mainstream media that addresses and criticizes RGSE.
I've had some firsthand experience with Relay's methods. The AP of my former school is an instructor at Relay, and she attempted to inflict its methodology onto our teaching staff. Videotaping our lessons, making "low-inference observations" (such as tally-marking the number of questions we ask or how many students raise their hands for each question), then putting the data onto a spreadsheet and pretending there were valid conclusions to be drawn. It was clear to a lot of us that the goal was to reduce our lessons down to a script, with "strategically" planned questions and predetermined amounts of "wait time" built in. One teacher was written up for latching onto a teachable moment during a formally-observed math lesson when a student unexpectedly connected lines of symmetry to the Batman villain Two-Face. This teacher was explicitly told that she was being rated Unsatisfactory for that observation because her lesson did not follow the script she had submitted during the pre-observation conference.
The end result was a mass exodus of strong teachers (including myself) from that school at the end of the school year. Before we left we were told to revise our old unit plans, in some cases writing up fully-developed plans for units we had never taught, so that the new teachers could hit the ground running in September. Of course we were told that all of this paperwork was for the benefit of "the children." (Or should I say, "the scholars"? Ugh)http://www.washingtonpost.com/
blogs/answer-sheet/post/is- filling-the-pail-any-way-to- train-teachers/2012/07/04/ gJQADViVOW_blog.html
Is ‘filling the pail’ any way to train teachers?
An isolated shot of a bucket of sand for the childrens play time either on vacation, at the beach, or just at home in the sandbox. (Matthew Benoit)determining the fate of our schools. The ‘filling of the pail’ is the philosophy of those who see students as vessels into which facts and knowledge are poured. The better the teacher, the more stuff in the pail. How do we measure what is in the pail? With a standardized test, of course. Not enough in the pail? No excuses. We must identify the teachers who best fill the pail, and dismiss the rest.