Another nice mess you’ve got us into..
Oliver Hardy is well know for looking at Stan Laurel, who appears clueless, and with a frustrated tone exclaims, “another nice mess you got us into!”
Nothing could be more fitting, than Ollie’s words when I look at the predicament teachers all across New York State are in right now.
This past week the following statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten following passage of the teacher privacy bill by both houses of the New York Legislature had heads spinning. She stated,
“This bill restores balance and ensures that educators no longer will live in fear that evaluations and teacher rankings based on unreliable data will be splashed across the media and sensationalized by those interested in undermining public education. And it helps ensure the effective use of teacher evaluations to improve teaching and learning, and allows parents and teachers to work together to build strong public schools for all New York children.”
New York State United Teachers President Richard C. Iannuzzi said,
“The governor and Legislature did the right thing by stopping the media from distorting and disseminating evaluation results,” Iannuzzi said. “This bill accomplishes that goal and preserves the purpose of evaluations, which is to provide opportunity for continued growth and improvement.”
Who are they kidding?? Teacher’s all across the state are suppose to celebrate legislation that allow, evaluations based on junk science, and may determine their future livelihoods, to be released to parents as a good thing?
Let’s keep in mind, this legislation was quickly negotiated to fix a much greater threat. The courts already declared that these evaluations can be released to the media, and something needed to be done. So in that light, it could have been much worse. But to celebrate this as a win, is akin to the South declaring a victory during a skirmish in the closing days of the Civil War. This isn’t a win, it’s a tourniquet. It may stop the bleeding temporarily, but once gangrene sets in we’re doomed.
The way I look at it, our unions (we) negotiated ourselves into this nice mess.We negotiated a deal that allowed teachers to be evaluated using junk science.
Even though there is no evidence that supports Value Added Measures as a means of calculating teacher effectiveness, we agreed to it.
We negotiated rubrics that will be used in teacher evaluations, yet many of these rubrics are untested.
We agreed to test and re-test models to measure our own effectiveness.
We stood by, while our students were subjected to 90 hours of testing.
We’re embracing the Common Core Standards as a means to magically make our students college and career ready.
We dare not exclaim Race to the Top, is really a race to nowhere, because politically we must remain loyal until November.
We stand by while charters eat away at public education, and even at times support our own charter schools.
So here we are, standing arm in arm with Governor Cuomo, praising his acumen in negotiating this deal. Forgetting that his tax cap policies have caused thousand of teachers all across the state to lose their jobs. Forgetting that his education commissioner is a pro charter advocate. Forgetting that his flawed teacher evaluation plan is nothing more than an attempt to circumvent tenure. Here we are standing there.
Yeah, another nice mess you got us into!