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September 19, 2013

Three Questions, Two Answers from the Department of Education

Secretary Duncan, you have a successful career. Would you be willing to take the Common Core Tests as they become available and share your score?

September 14, 2013

John Thompson Reviews "Confessions of a Bad Teacher"

When Bill Gates or Arne Duncan tour a high-performing school that supposedly serves the "same" kids as failing neighborhood schools and proclaim, "Amazing!," do they really believe it?

August 12, 2013

Alice Mercer: California Districts Get NCLB Waiver Despite Union Objections

The Federal government has carved away any state role in administering these programs, and this has been done deliberately as a way to cut side deals with districts in states like California

July 01, 2013

Teachers Want Accountability From the Top

Teachers hold ourselves and our colleagues accountable for making learning happen in our schools. And now it is time to start holding those in power accountable as well.

June 18, 2013

The Common Core Loses This Teacher's Support

By attaching them to government initiatives such as high-stakes testing and teacher evaluation, the standards are being used as an instrument to standardize and control public education in the US.

May 16, 2013

Dystopia: A Possible Future of Teacher Evaluation

This is a future I believe is possible given the systems and structures being promoted by technocrats like Gates. This is NOT the way the system has been described by Bill Gates or any of his representatives. They tend to use the language of feedback and collaboration. But as I have been asking, if collaboration is the goal, why must this be embedded in an evaluation process, which has the goal of determining who ought to be fired?

May 06, 2013

Will a Year's Delay Save the Common Core? A Response to Weingarten's Proposal

Teachers - and union leaders -- may feel as if they should get on board, to try to steer this process. However, I think this is a ship of doom for our schools. I think its effect will be twofold. It will create a smoother, wider, more easily standardized market for curriculum and technology. This will, in turn, promote the standardization of curriculum and instruction, and further de-professionalize teaching. The assessments will reinforce this, by tying teachers closer to more frequent timelines and benchmark assessments, which will be, in many places, tied to teacher evaluations. And the widespread failures of public schools will be used to further "disrupt the public school monopoly," spurring further expansion of vouchers and charters and private schools.

April 05, 2013

Accountability for Mr. Gates: The Billionaire Philanthropist Evaluation

But let's imagine we could turn the tables on Mr. Gates and evaluate his performance as a philanthropist. Might we establish some goals to which we could hold our billionaires accountable? We do not have any measurable indicators such as test scores to use, but since I do not find these to be of great value in any case, I will offer a more qualitative metric, based on my knowledge of the subject's work. Since he has spoken glowingly of the salutary effect of feedback on teachers, surely he will welcome this feedback, even though it is unsolicited.

April 04, 2013

Bill Gates Dances Around the Teacher Evaluation Disaster He Sponsored

This amounts to an attempt to distance the Gates Foundation from the asinine consequences of the policies they have sponsored, while accepting no responsibility for them whatsoever. This is a non-starter, as far as I am concerned. When Bill Gates states he is all for accountability, perhaps he might start with himself. Until then, I really do not value his views on what good accountability systems for others ought to consist of.

March 26, 2013

Association with Gates Foundation Subtracts Value from Weingarten

The Gates Foundation has absolutely zero credibility on the subject of teacher evaluation due to the pervasive role they have played in promoting the terrible policies now sweeping the nation. I entered my dialogue with them last year hoping they were prepared to shift their views in meaningful ways. When it ended, they gave little reason to believe they had done so. To co-author anything with their representative means you are lending credibility and standing to them.

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The opinions expressed in Living in Dialogue are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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