first-question

First Question

Daniela A. Robles Current Affairs, Education Policy

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The impasse has been resolved. New York reached an agreement on teacher evaluations. Thankfully, it was a result of Governor Cuomo’s resolve to create his own way of measuring teacher work if a resolution was not reached. The power of ultimatums.

As the sun rises, the country breathes a sigh of relief to know that New York teachers will have up to 40% of their evaluation attached to student achievement. Growth from a student’s test score from one year to the next year will also be included. The remaining 60% will be subjective measures-observations.

Perhaps, this evaluation design brings a sense of security to most. To trust this design one must believe that student achievement equates to student learning. Test scores are objective. And, the biggest misconception: standardized tests are valid measures.

Let’s be honest this evaluation design brings a sense of security to the tune of $700 million in Race to the Top funding. This is what the renewed passion for evaluating teachers is about…the almighty dollar. New York to Arizona, teacher evaluation is about money. We can argue about how we reached this point or we can simply start to question the policies that are at our front door.

The first question is easy: Which standarized test is being used to determine if little Maya achieved, and if Miss Rivera taught? The second question is easier: Can little Maya only demonstrate her achievement as a result of Miss Rivera’s teaching by the bubble she marks on the test that the scan machine scores?

I’m sure you can figure out the next question.

 

Daniela A. Robles

Phoenix, Arizona

I am a teacher and beginning my fourteenth year of teaching in Arizona’s public schools. The greatest lessons I learned were from teaching first grade for ten years. My inspirations stem from these past few years where my classroom has ranged from the Intervention Room to the Coaches’ Room.

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