--I want real, private-setor-like, competititon and evaluation of Teachers performance, with real repurcussions for poor work and failing. I want tenure removed completely.
Basicly, I want Teachers to be treated like we treat almost every other job in AMerica today. Just compensation for just work, real evaluation, real competition, real limits of bias at the workplace, firings of bad teachers and a full year of labor for a full years pay.[/QUOTE]
Not so easy huh?
Control for this!
AUGUST 1, 2013 BY TIMOTHY D. SLEKAR 8 COMMENTS
Last night my wife had a totally different idea than I about how to handle a parenting situation. I insisted that my “Dad way” was needed. My wife simply looked at me (the wrong way) and I decided to loudly (yell) say that I “was sick of being undermined when it comes to being a father.” My wife forcefully stated that as long as I kept “yelling” at her she would not continue the conversation—she turned and walked out of the room. This of course led me to go to the kitchen and start “cleaning” by emptying the dishwasher and essentially throwing things in cabinets and cupboards and creating the noise level of a passing train (Why do the dishes take so much abuse when spouses fight?).
Of course my wife emerged forcefully from the other room and let me know that she didn’t appreciate my emptying the dishwasher. “Fine!” “Fine!”
Enter my daughter. She was outside being a ten year old (totally oblivious to the fact that my wife and I were engaged in the most important disagreement (stupid argument) ever entered into by husband and wife. We tried the fake “oh hi honey. Did you have fun outside?” She knew. Anybody that walked into our kitchen at that moment would have known. Mom and Dad were fighting.
My daughter asked us to stop and just “forgive each other.” She wanted us “all to get along and be happy.” She didn’t understand why we just couldn’t “stop it.” In a moment of clarity my wife and I both comforted our daughter and put aside our differences. We had dinner. Watched some stupid television shows. And went to bed.
In the morning I went to the kitchen to get coffee for my wife (not flowers I know but still a peace offering). I was greeted with a snarly “thanks” and the look (You know the look? The look that says “Thanks for the coffee, but you’re still an ass.”). I didn’t have time to offer my true apology for “yelling” and “emptying” the dishwasher (I had to get my daughter ready for school). So on my way to get my daughter I of course offered those universal words of compassion and understanding—“Great here we go again.” For some reason this failed (like it always does) to calm the tensions between my wife and me and the within seconds we were back to a loud “discussion” about absolutely nothing meaningful.
Enter my daughter again. Standing in the doorway of bedroom with tears in her eyes she looked at us and said, “I thought everything was OK. I thought we were a happy family. This is going to be a horrible day.” She ran back to her room. I of course did what any great father would do. I looked at my wife and asked if she “was going to help our daughter?” The look was enough. I immediately went to my daughter and talked to her. I explained that it was OK and that “Mommy and Daddy just weren’t agreeing on something” (something stupid of course). I wiped her tears and let her get ready for school. I went out and made breakfast and my wife and daughter joined me at the table (Of course my wife and I were doing our best to avoid eye contact because God knows that if one of us were to give “that look” we would immediately start emptying the dishwasher.
After breakfast I got my stuff ready for work and helped my daughter gather her belongings (I drive her to school on most days). We both said goodbye to my wife (my daughter got a hug and I got a brief peck on the cheek minus any eye contact). On the way to school my daughter had a small tear on her cheek. I asked her what was bothering her. She quickly responded that she “hated it when you and Mommy fight.” I reassured her (again) that it was not a fight but a small disagreement and that “Mommy and I are fine.” We got to her school. I gave her a hug and a kiss. She walked into her school. I drove away to work.
End of story right? Of course not. Here’s what happened during the day for my daughter. After being greeted warmly by her teacher, my daughter did her morning work and then got ready for THE TEST. You know THE TEST. She took THE TEST. She finished THE TEST. And of course she bombed THE TEST! Why? Good question considering her intelligence exceeds my own. So why did she bomb THE TEST? Simple. Her mother and father were acting like jackasses!
Someone has to ask this question:
What Value Added Model (VAM) score of teacher effectiveness can “control” for parents that act like jackasses?
Someone has to answer the question:
IT DOESN’T EXIST!
Therefore the use of VAMs has no ethical, practical, or experimental value.
Think about it. My daughter’s teacher (because of VAM use in mandated teacher effectiveness measures) was going to be held “accountable” for the action of two jackass parents—not for being an effective teacher. Now think about this. This sad story (while extremely significant and traumatic at the time to my daughter) is just an example of real life in a middle class household with two loving, suburban parents guilty of being human.
What about the child that took THE TEST hungry?
What about the child that took THE TEST sick?
What about the child that took THE TEST homeless?
What about the child that took THE TEST after visiting their father in jail?
What about the child that took THE TEST after witnessing violence?
What about the child that took THE TEST after a night of sexual abuse?
What about the child that took THE TEST as a runaway?
Someone has to shout this:
What Value Added Models can “control” for the runaway train of traumatic experiences that kids bring to to schools every day? !!!
Follow Tim Slekar on Twitter: @slekar
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FILED UNDER: TIM SLEKAR: SOMEONE HAS TO SAY IT! TAGGED WITH: TEACHER EFFECTIVENESS, VALUE-ADDED MODELS, VAMS