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Weingarten on test scores, etc

January 17, 2010 am31 11:00 am

Randi Weingarten gave a pro-reform speech in DC this week. Before the speech she did an interview with Bob Herbert. Ran in the NY Times. Splashed all over the press. The blogs. The msm loved it. I hated it.

Did I see the context? Yup. The whole speech (both text and video) is available at the New York State United Teachers website. Click here.

I heard several people (including HS VP Leo Casey) indicate that the media were sensationalizing by reporting without context. No paper or journal, as far as I saw, said she wanted to evaluate teachers award tenure, etc, solely based on test scores. The reports, and the speech, clearly indicated a multiple-measures approach that includes student test scores. Sensational? No. Wrong? Absolutely.

This brings me to my first proposal, for constructive and robust teacher evaluation: the creation of a system that would inform tenure, employment decisions, and due process proceedings …

We propose rigorous reviews by trained expert and peer evaluators and principals, based on professional teaching standards, best practices and student achievement…

That is, she proposes the use of multiple measures, including test scores (“student achievement”) to be used in hiring, tenure, firing, and disciplinary proceedings.

I’m not quoting her on due process. You have to read the whole thing to realize her underlying assumption: unions are to blame where the system is broke.

Ignorant? Willfully so. She comes from NYC, where the Department of Education has packed the Temporary Reassignment Centers (Rubber Rooms), often leaving teachers to languish on false or cleared charges for weeks, months, and longer.

You can read the New Action statement. And you can read the UFT response.

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