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.