Teachers in Thunderdome

Full post is at CURMUDGUCATION

One of the dreams of reformsters is a school system in which teacher employment is shaped by neither tenure nor seniority. When the time comes for cutting staff, administrators will just grab their Big Spreadsheet of Teacher Effectiveness Data, look down at the bottom of list, point at the name next to the lowest rating number and declare, “Okay– that’s who’s getting laid off.”

We’ve talked about the huge problems with the data generation methods that would go into such a list. But let’s talk about the effect that such a system would have on teaching staffs.

The system would turn shrinking school districts into education Thunderdomes (only “two teachers enter, one teacher leaves” will have a slightly different meaning).

Some of the best educational ideas out there are pushing teamwork and collaboration, built on the idea that all of our students belong to all of us teachers. Not my kids in my room, and your kids in your room. Unfortunately, most VAM-based systems don’t see it that way. My kids determine my fate, and your kids determine yours.

So do I really want to help you with your kids when that means making my own job less secure? Read more>>