After the budget ax fell, quality-blind layoffs cost hundreds of the district's most promising new instructors their jobs. Campuses in poorer areas were disproportionately hurt.
“We have to reward excellence,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We’ve been scared in education to talk about excellence. We treated everyone like interchangeable widgets.”
Protocols for observing teachers in the classroom during an evaluation should be written in such a way as to leave little room for inference so ratings are clear and objective, asserts a report released this week by the New Teacher Project.
Last year the city of Memphis handed over authority for recruiting all new teachers to TNTP. Before school started in August, one way TNTP filled the approximately 800 open teaching positions in Memphis was with its Teaching Fellows, a corps of accomplished career changers recruited from around the nation.
The raging debate sparked by the LA Times misses the larger point. If school officials cared enough about students to evaluate teachers properly, a newspaper wouldn't have to try to do it for them.
The hunt has intensified recently for a shadowy menace: the “blame-the-teacher crowd.” Yet the truth is that the existence of the blame-the-teacher crowd is a myth.
When Memphis won funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it charged TNTP with hiring the district's teachers. Now the district's bold initiatives have put Memphis in the spotlight of national education reform.
Over the last several weeks, nearly 30,000 teachers throughout California received layoff notices. Factors related to job performance should be taken into account rather than length of service.
The consequences of putting job protection ahead of learning.