Ratings could end tenure for Minnesota's teachers
A radical new approach to evaluating teachers could end their tenure protections and tie job ratings to student test scores, changing the face of education in Minnesota.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Star Tribune.
Saint Paul, MN
#1 Mar 29, 2011
Using students test scores to evaluate a teacher is just plain dumb. I like the old Forrest Gump saying, stupid is as stupid does. Tying ones job to a 7 year old test result is just silly. You can't teach stupid and it sure sounds like there are some stupid people trying to legislate laws that should not be.
#2 Mar 29, 2011
Got that right. How ridiculous.
#3 Mar 29, 2011
Why can't teachers who have been chronically absent from work be the first to go? Or the ones who have been convicted of crimes? Or the ones who are languishing—with full pay and benefits—in some "reserve pool" because no school will hire them? Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently said that "last in, first out" policies hit low-income kids hardest because the poor are more likely to attend schools where teachers have less seniority.
Then there's the matter of collective bargaining for public workers, which has caused so much controversy in Wisconsin and elsewhere—and which past labor leaders resisted. Former AFL-CIO President George Meany, for example, said that "it is impossible to bargain collectively with the government." And Franklin Roosevelt said that "all government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining cannot be transplanted into the public service" because "it has distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management."
The AFT and its larger sister organization, the National Education Association, may be the most powerful labor unions in the country. They have a combined membership of more that 4.5 million, and their policy influence reaches far beyond public schools. Political donations from these groups go overwhelmingly to Democrats, and the role that member dues play in the wider liberal movement can be seen in teachers union support for everything from abortion rights to single-payer health care to statehood for Washington, D.C.
But the real strength of the AFT, NEA and their state and local affiliates lies in their ability to obstruct. They have been particularly effective at blocking poor people from leaving bad public schools. They offer financial and logistical support to political candidates sympathetic to their agenda of curbing educational options, and they punish elected officials who don't stay the course.
Teachers unions agitate for laws and regulations that ban means-tested voucher programs or cap the number of charter schools that can open in a state. To protect jobs for their members, they fight to keep the worst instructors from being fired and the worst schools from closing. All the while, they insist that their interests are aligned with those of the kids.
#4 Mar 29, 2011
This is not dunb at all, ask any college student how they select a professor and they will tell you they go to the site rate my professor.com . Students are remarkably adebt at selecting the best teachers. Uninspiring or teachers with poor communication or organizational skill are rated poorly by kids.
But dont expect this to pass without the teachers union destroying the capital like they did in Madison.
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