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"BAMBOOZLE THEM" where teacher evaluation is the key to reform

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"Bamboozle 'em," is a song from the musical "Chicago."   It should be the anthem for  those who are foisting student tests as tools to evaluate teachers.  This trickery is the  final blow to the profession of pedagogy.

REMEMBER THESE WORDS: Genuine and Authentic.  The key process in the destruction of the schools is the removal of teacher-practitioners with no fair, genuine or accurate assessment.

This is key to understanding the FALLACY of testing AND THE TERRIBLE HOAX being perpetrated on a public which wants real reform, but is in the dark, literally, as there is a total blackout of the voices of genuine academics and educators. Authentic academics write prolifically about what would actually transform our public education systems.  Instead, the  public is inundated by the voices of pundits and experts who were administrators that ran  educational systems (often into the ground) but who have no grasp of the PRINCIPLES OF LEARNING , and have never faced emergent learners.

They talk about 'teaching' and they have decided that the public understands the word 'tests', and thus, if they frame the conversation about 'testing' teachers, the public will believe them. After all, Klein and Rhee were the top administrators of major school systems. They are the experts! They are experts and legends in their own minds, because the systems they ran were utter failures where learning declined under their tenure.

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 I call this BAMBOOZLING THE PEOPLE: 

The assault on teachers has ravaged the profession of pedagogy. Instead of genuine reform that would transform the schools and the way kids learn,  the bogus reformers  are intent on  framing the national conversation  by constantly conjuring ways to remove teachers. More tests = reform, is their mantra.

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Data from tests is  quantitative analysis not qualitative analysis , but the average Joe has no idea that these tests are bogus tools to assess teacher performance. The article  Tests for Pupils, But the Grades Go to Teachers  By     in  The NY Times  (May 24, 2011), lays bare the modus operandi for the bamboozlement of the public. It is happening in Los Angeles, too. as  Joy Resmovits   posts on her blog on  The Huffington Post

Evaluation of a professional is not a simple thing, and thus the public can be easily misled and misdirected. Even Jon Q public, or the 'average Joe or Jane' would recognize that a lawyer cannot be judged by quantitative data on cases won or lost.  What kind of cases was he asked to defend? They would surely wish to know QUALITATIVE INFO .

 Evaluating a professional educator is not a mystery, by the way. Excellent teachers are easy to spot because the results are plain to see when based on GENUINE assessment criteria, and AUTHENTIC evaluations.  For decades our public schools did a wonderful job of putting fine educators in front of our city's population of youngsters. For decades,  administrators, themselves educators, used  genuin e criteria and  authentic  assessment to determine who should stand in that classroom to  enable  and  facilitate   learning  . (PLEASE NOTE THE ABSENCE OF THE WORD "TEACH")

Students know which teacher in the school offers real learning. Neighborhoods know which teachers are the 'best,' because the genuine 'evidence' is before their eyes... children who LEARN TO THINK,  who acquire skills not merely information.
  
To create schools that fail -- so that education can be privatized -- politicians determined that the key tactic was the removal of  the most competent practitioners, in such a way as to  silence their voices.

 It began with 'rubber rooms' which depended on this tactic:   the  denial of due process,  so any allegation would strip a professional educator of rights under the law. That was the first step on the war on teachers ( as revealed on the  NAPTA  , or   Perdaily , or in NYC on   Parentadvocate

With  thousands of senior teacher-practitioners harassed and hounded into retirement or fired outright,  next, they  needed to ensure that the novice practitioners were removed soon after probationary periods ended -- before they could achieve tenure.  

Now, a decade later, with the cream of experienced teachers  gone ( and the voice of the experts silenced so the liars can prevail))  the powerful manipulators have moved to step 2, ensuring that they can devalue any teacher and replace that teacher with a new hire, at a  lower salary. Thus, the schools are a revolving door for staff.   Professional staff, of course,  gains expertise from experience. This process ensures that the classrooms  in our schools will never again be led by the BEST ! The BEST teachers must be forced to leave!

BAMBOOZLED!   This national push for TESTS  of students  in order to  evaluate teachers  is part of the never-ending efforts of those who  want to see our schools privatized. The only way to ensure failure of the educational system is to make sure that teachers NEVER  get a voice -- never get to say what is really happening or what is necessary for real LEARNING TO OCCUR.

How do they get away with such destruction?
They BAMBOOZLE THE PUBLIC by framing the conversation as one about teaching and those 'teachers' when every genuine, professional practitioner of pedagogy understands that schools are all about LEARNING! Real conversations about reform are about the ways to enable LEARNING, and they include reforming the support system which learning requires. This includes smaller class size, quiet, safe environment and parent involvement in the learning process from an early age.
 

I used  the word pedagogy four times in this essay, but  how often does one hear this word that defines the profession?
Instead the public is fed the word 'teaching.' Doctors do not practice doctoring. They practice medicine. Lawyers do not practice lawyering.
Describing this  profession as  'teaching' is the first step in diminishing the voice of the practitioner of pedagogy and undermining the teacher's voice. This plays to the publics perception that 'anyone can teach' and that  'teaching is an easy job' with lots of time off.

Evaluating professionals is a complex task, which cannot be left in the realm of subjective opinion. No layman, no pundit or businessman would claim to be competent in evaluating the competence of a doctor, and engineer, an attorney, or a scientist. Medicine and law are complex. Pedagogy, the practice that underlies how the BRAIN ACTUALLY LEARNS, how emergent learners acquire skills, is  also complex, which is why practitioners go to college and why in order to practice, they must pass genuine performance assessments.

One never hears teachers called practitioners. One never hears a word about the profession of pedagogy.
The entire conversation about the future of our children's education is being framed by people who would have the public believe an enormous lie, which is that the tests will measure teachers performance and schools will improve. 

BAMBOOZLED!

 

www.speakingasateacher.com

I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side Middle (more...)
 

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"Bamboozle 'em," a song from the musical "Chicago,... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 5:50:18 AM
I have extensive experience as a 'student', ie., I... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 7:45:08 AM
Well, if you can recognize it, your teachers must ... by Debbie Scally on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 1:02:42 PM
We come into this world naked and in need. Howe... by Ned Lud on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 10:15:52 PM
My students loved me. They still do. I get letters... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Monday, May 30, 2011 at 11:44:53 AM
Many readers here have read my treatment by the NE... by Daniel Geery on Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:51:51 PM
I love that link. I would love to do that, put up ... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Monday, May 30, 2011 at 7:57:32 PM
hee hee ... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 3:38:10 PM