Sunday, May 30, 2010

Teacher news.

Right your are. Same for the original bullet as well by the way...

No magic bullet for education
America keeps looking for one simple solution for its education shortcomings. There isn't one.

Now consider the latest rush to extremes: teacher evaluations. In its effort to promote school reform with Race to the Top grants, the Obama administration rightly criticized state laws — such as one then in effect in California — that prohibited schools from making student test scores a part of teacher evaluations, and declared that such laws would preclude a state from qualifying for grants.

Standardized tests were never designed to be the determinant of a teacher's mettle. The creators of these tests have repeatedly warned against using the results for more than they were intended, but that has stopped no one from hopping on the latest educational bandwagon.

This country's tendency to see education reform in simplistic terms is what got us into eight years of trouble under the No Child Left Behind Act. Schools switched overnight from protecting teachers from any accountability for student progress to putting the entire burden on their shoulders, as though they could and should singlehandedly overcome uninvolved parents, troubled neighborhoods and indifferent students. They were given 12 years to bring all those students to proficiency according to a rigid formula that practically guaranteed failure.

We're glad the Obama administration is proposing major changes to the law. But replacing the extremes of No Child Left Behind with new extremes tied to Race to the Top, with its glorification of charter schools and its emphasis on using scores to judge teachers, will not provide schools or students with meaningful education reform.


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