Let’s Be Careful Out There…

Richard Whitmire takes a look at the vitriol in the education debate. He’s right, of course, about the rhetoric and tone.  But, how much of that is edu-specific and how much just a reflection of the times we’re living in. You may have noticed that education is not an outlier in otherwise civil debates about public policies.  And, how much of all this is a natural byproduct of social change?

Today about 8 percent of low-income kids can expect to earn a college degree by the time they’re 24 – a figure that is actually lower in some American cities.  And high school dropout rates for black and Hispanic students are, on average, around 40 percent – and far worse in many urban and rural communities.  That’s a catastrophic problem perpetuated by an incredibly powerful and durable set of political and stakeholder arrangements that are now under unprecedented scrutiny.  So, given the history of social change in this country, it’s also worth asking if we’re going to see major changes without a lot of contention?

Not saying we can’t do better, only that we should also be realistic.

Update: He’s everywhere!  Whitmire and RiShawn Biddle in today’s USAT.

37 Responses to “Let’s Be Careful Out There…”

  1. Dick Says:

    Andy, I really hope this is a reference:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9qR8sgd-Nc

    If it is, then bravo. Bravo, sir.

  2. Chris Smyr Says:

    I can definitely see where any edu-bloggers are coming from when deciding not to include a comment section, and it’s not just the vitriol. One can find other successful forums on different topics that do include bitter rhetoric and tone, but they are successful because they are not only entertaining but, well, educational. The debates are fierce and remain on-topic for many rounds, and bad logic rightfully gets rooted out. Good forums are forges for new and better ideas and perspectives.

    We just don’t have that in education. The level of debate is so worthlessly shallow with many of the participants unwilling or unable to delve deeper into ideas. We can’t get beyond a couple exchanges before someone inevitably declares himself or herself the bigger authority and, thus, correct. Background checks as rebuttals are the norm. Quantity is better than quality. It’s bizarre. Avoiding it is not a way to fix it, of course, but I imagine some folks would rather just not have that distraction.

  3. phillipmarlowe Says:

    Richard Whitmire takes a look at the vitriol in the education debate. He’s right, of course, about the rhetoric and tone.
    That’s Rich!

    Mr. Whitmire profiles a lady who began work for a company (EAI) in Baltimore that made the regular, nonTFA teachers who stayed at their 7 schools feel “like they were part of a conspiracy to keep black kids ignorant.”

    One year after taking over DCPS and running down the teachers, she was asking asking how can I regain their trust. (this was a month before the TIME cover with her in a black dress and broom.)
    in Jan 2010, she said of the 260ish teachers who were RIFfed that she got rid of teachers who abused kids.

    In his book The Bee-Eater, Mr. Whitmire calls the black people around Johnson Middle School, home to Rhee’s new rockstar poster boy principal Dwon Jordan, ignorant because they didn’t know the wonderful things Michelle had done for them.

    And then this past February he can up with a new line of attack, accusing those who questioned Michelle Rhee’s Baltimore Miracle of being just like the racist birthers who hate our first black president.

    Truly amazing.

    So we have the likes of Mr Whitmire, Mr. Rotherham, Mr. Broad, Mr. and Mrs. Gates, Mr. Klein, Mrs. Huffman, Mr. Brooks, Mr. Alter, Mr. Tilson, TFA, NTP, New Leaders For New Schools, Mr. Daniels, Mr. Bennett, Dr. Hanushek et. al.-
    the professional education reform crowd, shat on teachers and then become indignant when teachers complain.
    Mr. Whitmire:”I’m shocked, shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment.”

  4. phillipmarlowe Says:

    Addendum
    Roderick Paige: teachers are terrorists
    Chris Christie: teachers use kids like drug mules.

  5. phillipmarlowe Says:

    Richard has a video of this article:
    Mean

  6. Chris Smyr Says:

    You’re a liar, Phillip, as usual. Your last two examples were quotes in reference to the UNIONS, not teachers.

    Of course, the vitriol does go both ways, but your side seems to add a dash of crazy more often. See above for further explanation.

  7. phillipmarlowe Says:

    You’re a liar, Phillip, as usual. Your last two examples were quotes in reference to the UNIONS, not teachers
    UNIONS.
    Some form of alien life form, perhaps?

    You’re hung up on the liar word Chris.
    Kinda like how I lied that you taught at Willow Grove High School.

  8. Chris Smyr Says:

    A simple “yes, I was wrong” would have sufficed

  9. PhillipMarlowe Says:

    Who are the members of these UNIONS?
    dog catchers?
    grad students?

    No, teachers.

    A response in the style of Rod, Chris C. and Chris S:
    Greeks are such slackers waiting for hand-outs.

  10. PhillipMarlowe Says:

    Also, I see that you silently admit I wasn’t “lying” when I typed that you taught at Willow Grove HS.

  11. Chris Smyr Says:

    Wrap yourself in that fallacy all you want. Rhetoric attacking the unions does not imply there is an anti-teacher movement afoot.

    And again with the background checks! I never said you lied about where I taught. I said you’re obsessing over something that is irrelevant, and that you put a lot of stock into something that you’ve repeatedly shown that you know nothing about.

  12. PhillipMarlowe Says:

    Happy 4th of July Chris.
    From Thomas Jefferson:
    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

  13. Michael Says:

    I think name calling and personal attacks just serves to cloud the issue. The real crux is what has really been done. Judge people on their performance and refrain from personal attacks and calling other racists. If someone has not performed or performed well that describe what they have done rather than the cheap and empty actions of personal attacks.
    We all have different viewpoints but lets respect everyone.

  14. phillipmarlowe Says:

    Here’s vitriol from Andrew Rotherham:
    To wit, class size jihadist Leonie Haimson
    So, Andrew labels someone he disagrees with as a murderer of thousands.
    Class act, Andy!
    Did this vitriol get notice from Rick Whitmire?
    http://www.eduwonk.com/2011/03/whats-old-is-new.html

  15. phillipmarowe Says:

    More vitriol from the Professional Educational reform crowd:
    http://thebeeeater.com/wordpress/?p=1374

    Let’s call those who oppose our standardized test score based efforts as “deniers.”

    Hmmm, the only other group of deniers that I have ever heard of are the Holocaust Deniers.

    Real classy Steven, Andy, and Richard.
    So Linda, AttorneyDC, JohnThompson and I are like Nazis

    Undoubtably, Chris Smyr will post here some defecation backing the label.

    (PS. regarding global warming- in the media those who don’t believe in it are described as “skeptics.”)

  16. Chris Smyr Says:

    Phillip,

    Resurrecting threads in which you failed to offer any useful, relevant or honest commentary– and ones in which you also ignored attempts to correct you– is not a great way to go about fixing your reputation here. Refraining from posting was doing more toward that goal, actually.  

    Since you referenced me in another passive-aggressive plea for attention, I’ll respond with the following:

    1) “Climate change denier” is a very common term, actually, and there is a big distinction between skepticism (which we need) and denialism (which we don’t).  Contrary to your Monty Python-esque deduction about what Brill meant, denialism isn’t reserved for Nazis.

    2) While we’re on the topic, climate change denialism shares several key similarities with some in the anti-reform crowd. From wikipedia:

    “Climate change denial is a term used to describe organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming. […] Typically, these attempts take the rhetorical form of legitimate scientific debate, while not adhering to the actual principles of that debate.”

    and

    “Denialism is choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid an uncomfortable truth. [it] is the refusal to accept an empirically verifiable reality. It is an essentially irrational action that withholds validation of a historical experience or event.”

    3) There are plenty of other colorful labels that would describe you much better than “Nazi”.

    4) Referencing “deniers” as an example of vitriol without even a passing remark about the widespread usage of “deformers” is even classier.

    5) It is unlikely that you will catch on, so to be very clear: I’m not defending these labels being used, but instead responding to your lame attempts to incorrectly reframe these issues once again.

  17. Scott E Says:

    Climate change denialism shares several key similarities with some in the reform crowd.

    1) Climate change deniers attack the scientists and their organizations. Educational reformers attack teachers and their unions.

    2) Climate change deniers pick and choose their facts to question climate science and ignore the overwhelming systemic evidence that points to climate change and its causes. Educational reformers focus on test results instead of facing the systemic causes that undermine education.

    3) Some (many) climate change deniers are supported by or have ties to major corporations that have a vested economic interest in sowing doubt about climate change. Some (many) educational reformers who are supported by or have ties to major corporations that have a vested economic interest in sowing doubt about public education.

  18. phillipmarowe Says:

    Too bad Chris.
    In modern discourse skeptic is the word used with regards to the climate and global warming, and quite rightly so.
    Denier is for those who don’t believe in something despite the evidence.
    Are you to suggest that we should label people like David Irving and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Holocaust skeptics?

  19. Chris Smyr Says:

    Scott,

    Nice try, but if you have to force the analogy as you’ve done here, it doesn’t really work anymore:

    1) Provide evidence of how reformers “attack teachers”. Equating science organizations with the unions is also a strange comparison to make.

    2) Since you’d also like to bring up the useless “ignoring systemic causes that undermine education” canard, why don’t you take a seat and follow along (and perhaps contribute!) to the most recent discussion about this:

    eduwonk.com/2011/08/this-weeks-time-school-of-thought-the-upstarts.html#comment-224358

    3) Climate change deniers are not wrong because they’re funded by the energy lobbies (there are better reasons…) and there is no “vested economic interest” for maintaining a crappy education system.

    *****

    Phillip:

    Google “climate change denialism”. While you’re at it, learn what skepticism means to scientists and with respect to this topic. After you do, make an effort to actually respond to all of the other counterarguments above you again ignored.

  20. phillipmarowe Says:

    Chris: “David Irving is a Holocaust skeptic.”

  21. Chris Smyr Says:

    … Are you serious? No, that’s not at all what I said. Are you going to keep avoiding giving an actual reply with these vapid distractions?

  22. Scott E Says:

    Chris,

    You’ve given an excellent example of denial with your “provide evidence of how reformers “attack teachers” implying that they don’t, but then maybe you don’t see firing teachers or shutting down a school because of low test scores as an attack on teachers.

    I did not say climate change deniers are wrong because they’re funded by the energy lobbies or that there’s a vested economic interest for maintaining a crappy education system. That’s misdirection on your part. The evidence and the science make them wrong. They’re ability to obfuscate, however, is greatly enhanced by those lobbies. Additionally, there are vested economic interests in the obfuscation and promotion of student testing, charter schools, and the image of our educational system. To say otherwise is again denial.

  23. Chris Smyr Says:

    Scott:

    And you’ve given an excellent example of how not to give evidence for a claim. Expecting more accountability of educators is not an attack on teachers. It’s not even an attack on underperforming teachers. In no other workplace does letting go an employee constitute an attack on the profession. It’s bizarre logic.

    ***”I did not say climate change deniers are wrong because they’re funded by the energy lobbies or that there’s a vested economic interest for maintaining a crappy education system.”

    You implied there’s something interesting to be gleaned by the fact that climate change deniers have ties to corporations, and some reformers also do. That by itself suggests nothing.

    You then explicitly said there was a vested economic interest for “sowing doubt about public education”. What did you mean by that? Because certainly all of these corporations have stated time and time again they have a vested economic interest in the exact opposite– strengthening public education so the number of highly-skilled workers increases.

    What is Bill Gates’ vested economic interest in pouring money into reform, if not to do just that?

  24. steve f. Says:

    Chris,

    Bill Gates’ fortune comes from Microsoft. As a software company, Microsoft would love to have the killer applications for the education market. Online/Virtual schooling would be the holy grail for ed reform. No teachers, no physical buildings to maintain – pure profit!

    Microsoft would love to capture and control this software frontier.

    I’m not saying this is definitely the case or certainly what is happening – but it’s mere possibiliy would give Bill Gates a “a vested economic interest.”

    You’re a smart guy – so surely you could see this scenario playing out over the next ten years.

    What do you think…possible?

  25. Chris Smyr Says:

    Steve,

    The question is whether, as Scott claimed, major corporations that contribute to school reform “have a vested economic interest in sowing doubt about public education.” I want someone to substantiate that claim. Scott has yet to do so. Here, you haven’t, either.

    At no point have any of the reform efforts supported by the Gates Foundation focused on any goals even remotely related to making teachers and public schools unnecessary. Certainly if this was a goal it would have behooved the foundation to contribute funds to projects actually designed to understand that potential. Notice also that I’m not disagreeing to there being economic interests (although given the Gates Foundation’s other aims, philanthropy itself is likely a driving force). I’m saying the interests all point toward a stronger educational system.

    If it were true that “killer applications” could substitute as the primary educational resource for millions of children– and do it well enough to work toward the primary goal of enabling a larger number of highly skilled and capable workers to enter the workforce– that would be something Microsoft would surely jump on. As well as every other company and organization out there, reform-minded or not. Microsoft would not simply be given reins over such a market. I’m curious at how likely you think this hypothetical will ever play out, however.

    Finally, I’m somewhat puzzled at how online/virtual schools with no teachers would be the “holy grail for ed reform”. I know what you’re implying, but I want you to be explicit about the claim.

  26. J. D. Salinger Says:

    I know what you’re implying, but I want you to be explicit about the claim.

    Why? Is the entire world your grad studen?

  27. Scott E Says:

    Asking for accountability is not the attack on teachers. It’s starting with an assumption that there are many teachers out there that are not being held accountable that’s an attack on teachers. Even Brill’s own research on the NY rubber room’s was about less than 1% of the teachers in the district.

    Where did anyone say letting go of an employee constitutes an attack on the profession? Making it easier to fire hundreds if not thousands of teachers without having to bother with the due process that was bargained between school districts and their employee unions is an attack on teachers. If educational reformers want to make all teachers at will employees, while shouldn’t teachers feel that’s an attack on themselves and their profession.

    It’s the actual nuts and bolts of how teacher accountability is being pushed such as when state legislatures want to use inherently flawed VAM’s in teacher evaluations that’s an attack on teachers.

    It’s the attack on teacher’s union without admitting it has to be an attack on teachers since those unions are the only protections a teacher may have when improperly treated that’s an attack on unions.

  28. Chris Smyr Says:

    Scott:

    *****”Asking for accountability is not the attack on teachers. It’s starting with an assumption that there are many teachers out there that are not being held accountable that’s an attack on teachers.”

    Why do you think anyone’s asking for more accountability if it wasn’t readily apparent that it has a tenuous hold in school politics and staffing decisions? From reports of nearly all teachers being graded effective in certain districts, to relatively few teachers being denied tenure, to the continuing failures of many schools to provide an excellent education for all of their students, to the legal battles being fought over LIFO, one cannot wade very far without finding examples of how accountability in education is lacking. These data predate reformer efforts to change accountability policies, so it’s not their fault the system is what it is.

    *****”Where did anyone say letting go of an employee constitutes an attack on the profession?”

    You did, Scott. You said: “…but then maybe you don’t see firing teachers or shutting down a school because of low test scores as an attack on teachers.” You claimed that reformers were attacking teachers because they promote policies that result in some teachers being fired. In no place is the only reason these teachers are being let go because of test scores, so it’s easy to see exactly what you meant.

    *****”Making it easier to fire hundreds if not thousands of teachers without having to bother with the due process that was bargained between school districts and their employee unions is an attack on teachers.”

    Are there examples of how reform is systematically ignoring due process? It happened for some teachers in DCPS but it was taken to court and the teachers won. I don’t know of any other examples where this illegal side-stepping is happening.

    *****”If educational reformers want to make all teachers at will employees, while shouldn’t teachers feel that’s an attack on themselves and their profession.”

    Straw man alert!

    *****”It’s the actual nuts and bolts of how teacher accountability is being pushed such as when state legislatures want to use inherently flawed VAM’s in teacher evaluations that’s an attack on teachers.”

    Given all the drawbacks of VAM, they are still considered useful as part of a suite of measures for accountability.

    *****”It’s the attack on teacher’s union without admitting it has to be an attack on teachers since those unions are the only protections a teacher may have when improperly treated that’s an attack on unions.”

    So now it’s an attack on teachers to criticize the unions, too. Congratulations, you’ve enacted your own system of logic that defies any attempts to discuss ways to improve education. When there are this many ways to “attack” a profession, one wonders how any particular plan to reform education will ever get the buy-in of some teachers and union advocates.

  29. Scott E Says:

    “…one cannot wade very far without finding examples of how accountability in education is lacking.” The claim may be made, but that doesn’t make it a fact.

    “In no place is the only reason these teachers are being let go because of test scores..” Except for the bias of a single quantitative measure dominating predominantly qualitative measures that have little variation. And no matter what the percentage, if the quantitative measure is demonstratively flawed, it should not be part of an evaluation.

    “…one wonders how any particular plan to reform education will ever get the buy-in of some teachers and union advocates.” Perhaps this buy in would occur if most experienced teachers and the unions that represent them were seen as contributors toward possible solutions instead of as the problem for their skepticism of what’s been offered.

  30. Chris Smyr Says:

    Scott:

    *****”The claim may be made, but that doesn’t make it a fact.”

    Which facts would you like to see? The Widget Effect is a starting point.

    *****”Except for the bias of a single quantitative measure dominating predominantly qualitative measures that have little variation.”

    Except that this isn’t actually what happens. VAM isn’t intended to dominate any method of evaluation, and it can’t even be used for most teachers who do not teach very specific subjects and grades.

    *****”And no matter what the percentage, if the quantitative measure is demonstratively flawed, it should not be part of an evaluation.”

    We can have the “flawed” discussion, if you’d like, but it’s been had several times before:

    eduwonk.com/2010/10/irony-alert.html#comment-211900

    The data is useful enough, despite the inherent error.

    *****”Perhaps this buy in would occur if most experienced teachers and the unions that represent them were seen as contributors toward possible solutions instead of as the problem for their skepticism of what’s been offered.”

    There are definitely examples of reform that can coexist with the unions. It’s also false that “most experienced teachers… [are seen] as the problem”. That is your bias talking, the same bias it seems that makes most of these discussions and related reform efforts tantamount to an attack on the teaching profession.

  31. Scott E Says:

    “You then explicitly said there was a vested economic interest for “sowing doubt about public education”. What did you mean by that?”

    Just this: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/07-4

    “The data is useful enough, despite the inherent error.”

    All for the greater cause…

    “It’s also false that “most experienced teachers… [are seen] as the problem”.

    But not seen as equal contributors for the solutions.

  32. Chris Smyr Says:

    Scott,

    Can you respond to the stuff you’ve ignored from above? To recall, I gave you a link to the Widget Effect when you said I wasn’t using facts, and then I replied with how VAM is actually utilized when you claimed it was being using predominantly for evaluations.

    *****”Just this: [link]”

    That’s a link to a blog. A blog that makes many claims about ed reform with few actual citations of evidence. It would be nice if you could make your case *here* instead of having to link to someone else’s work.

    *****”All for the greater cause…”

    Is that a “Yes” or a “No” to my question of whether you’d like to discuss the value in using value-added?

    *****”[Most experienced teachers are] not seen as equal contributors for the solutions.”

    Citation needed. You didn’t provide any evidence for your past claim of how they are considered the problem, and this newest claim seems to also miss the point. The ideas for solutions to employ should come from wherever and whomever gives the most useful solutions, regardless if the sources are experienced teachers or not.

  33. Scott E Says:

    Don’t really see how the widget effect is a fact in terms of a lack of accountability. A teacher can be held accountable without involving how he or she is paid. It sure hasn’t been documented that bringing business principles to education is a clear positive for the system.

    The objection is against using a VAM for employment or payroll decisions. Something state tests were never built for in the first place. Not sure where you said a VAM was used for other purposes than teacher accountability, just that even flawed it was useful. The fact they could be used as a signal that further investigation may be warranted has never been the issue. The word predominantly was not used. Instead, it was pointed out that research shows how quantitative measures can bias qualitative measures which is all to the worse if those quantitative measures are flawed.

    It’s a curious if not contradictory thing the way people respond to value of something found on a blog. Clearly the point being made was lost on pointing out that this very blog was referencing another site that was making the point there are vested economic interests involved in sowing doubt about the current state of education. Then again, considering the response to other topics on this site providing a peer reviewed piece would still be found wanting. If your world view really doesn’t recognize the potential (or actual) corruption of economic interests in education reform, no evidence will ever be enough.

    Talking about the potential uses or concerns of using student test scores for their intended purposes could be instructive as long as the remarks don’t become a matter of repeated calls for evidence. While there might not be agreement a philosophical discussion of what one values can be useful.

    It depends on the usefulness. VAM scores have been shown to vary depending on the test given. They have been shown to assume random sorting of students where that is not the reality. They make other assumptions that don’t match the economic reality of poor students with classifications that are too broad, They have have been shown to be a better predictor of past scores than of future scores. They were never designed as an instrument for evaluating teachers. It has been taken as gospel that teachers are the greatest component of in school influence on student performance, but there has not been repeated confirmation that this is in fact the case and that the makeup of the student body is not the greater factor in determining student performance.

    If the conversation is constantly derailed by where’s the citation comments, it just shows the lack of any real desire to talk about the issues in detail. It is debatable whether or not an author of a peer reviewed article who has never taught a day in his or her life is more an expert of what goes in a classroom than a person who has taught 10 or more years.

    Talk to most teachers who have been teaching for more than two or three years and see how they feel about current reform efforts. Policy decisions don’t come from them; they are top down or from outside the profession. When teachers are skeptical their concerns are rarely valued. They’re just expected to carry out the policy regardless of their concerns. The point is the views of experienced teachers are rarely included as a filter to these ideas. Asking for citations to some study that has assumptions that don’t really match the reality most teachers face won’t help. This isn’t about skirting accountability, it’s about facing reality as it is. Where’s the evidence that Rhee or Klein went to their experienced teachers to deal with teacher accountability issues?

  34. Chris Smyr Says:

    Scott:

    *****”Don’t really see how the widget effect is a fact in terms of a lack of accountability.”

    Findings:

    * All teachers are rated good or great (is that what you call accountability?)

    * Excellence goes unrecognized (…how about that?)

    * Prof. development is inadequate (how do teachers know what to improve?)

    * Novice teachers are neglected (is this synonymous with “being held accountable”?)

    * Poor performance goes unaddressed (is it “being held accountable” when districts rarely, if ever, dismiss teachers?)

    *****”Instead, it was pointed out that research shows how quantitative measures can bias qualitative measures which is all to the worse if those quantitative measures are flawed.”

    If VAM are calculated well after things like classroom observations are made, how does the former then bias the latter? Do you mean it biases a teacher’s future evaluations by negatively impacting a principal’s perception of them? If so, what is the study that confirmed this, and don’t you think there are easy solutions to such a problem?

    Some of what’s been said before:

    “The trouble with this discussion is always the premise that either side is arguing from. If we both accept the premise that, ‘Value-added analyses give an objective and exact measure of teacher effectiveness,’ then yes, you would have a point with suggesting that analyses of these data do not work well. 30% error can be quite problematic in this regard. The premise itself, however, is incorrect, and one that is absent in all arguments I’ve seen for value-added analysis.

    The correct premise is the following: ‘Value-added analyses give an objective estimate of teacher effectiveness.’ An uncertainty of 30% is low enough to determine which teachers tend to be great, and which teachers tend to be below average. Principals could then use this data *along with other evidence of teacher effectiveness* to evaluate their teachers.

    Every pro-VA argument I’ve seen has reasoned from this latter premise to suggest that VA data be used to supplement an evaluation system, and yet I’ve seen no compelling counterarguments to this reasoning. Is there any you can offer?”

    *****”VAM scores have been shown to vary depending on the test given.”

    Within confidence intervals typically, giving impetus for a single model to be a focus to reduce this error

    *****”[VAM] have been shown to assume random sorting of students where that is not the reality.”

    They don’t actually assume random sorting, but rather there are variables that models do not take into account in controlling for growth. This is nothing new, nor is non-random assignment rationale for doing away with VAM entirely, but rather to improve on the models and take it as only one piece of evidence in evaluations.

    *****”[VAM] make other assumptions that don’t match the economic reality of poor students with classifications that are too broad”

    Details, please.

    *****”[VAM] have have been shown to be a better predictor of past scores than of future scores.”

    What scores? More specifics needed here, too.

    *****”[VAM] were never designed as an instrument for evaluating teachers.”

    They were originally designed to judge the effectiveness of teachers. Since the 1990s they’ve been designed as just that– an instrument to help evaluate teachers.

    *****”If the conversation is constantly derailed by where’s the citation comments, it just shows the lack of any real desire to talk about the issues in detail.”

    So it’s a lack of desire to talk about issues on my part when I ask you to justify your claims?

    *****”It is debatable whether or not an author of a peer reviewed article who has never taught a day in his or her life is more an expert of what goes in a classroom than a person who has taught 10 or more years.”

    Appeals to authority make the edu-world go round.

    *****”Talk to most teachers who have been teaching for more than two or three years and see how they feel about current reform efforts.”

    Are you implying you’ve done this yourself?

    *****”Policy decisions don’t come from them; they are top down or from outside the profession.”

    Teachers don’t enact policy? What an intriguing observation.

    *****”When teachers are skeptical their concerns are rarely valued.”

    [Citation needed]

    *****”The point is the views of experienced teachers are rarely included as a filter to these ideas.”

    [Citation still needed]

    *****”Asking for citations to some study that has assumptions that don’t really match the reality most teachers face won’t help.”

    That doesn’t justify making claims and refusing to back them up with some type of actual evidence.

    *****”Where’s the evidence that Rhee or Klein went to their experienced teachers to deal with teacher accountability issues?”

    I’d say it was when DCPS teachers voted overwhelmingly to give IMPACT the green light.

    *****”It’s a curious if not contradictory thing the way people respond to value of something found on a blog.”

    I don’t find any value in blogs that make derisive claims without bothering to correctly use factual evidence to support those claims, or that link to *other blogs* to prove a point. They do the same thing you do here, when you refuse to substantiate your claims and follow by shaking your head that I won’t just accept your link to another blog. It’s an unnerving tactic.

    My world view recognizes the potential for corruption anywhere. It also recognizes that saying something often enough doesn’t make it true, and that claims of ulterior motives and reform efforts done in bad-faith require evidence beyond a blog “confirmation”. One day, maybe yours will, too.

  35. Bill Jones Says:

    To Chris.

    More reasoned debate is needed.

    You are a liar.

    Some of things you have said within two posts.

    Now to the point. You used the word “orthogonal”.

    Were you using it in the sense of “mutually independent” or varying independently, or were you using it more as a rhetorical device in “your are way off there buddy?”

    Would also care to explain why VAM models have, by their own admission (SAP and UOW) failed to control for income and demographics, and that the effects of these two variable are hidden in teacher quality thus causing SIGNIFICANT AUTO CORRELATION PROBLEMS that can only be ameliorated by some very contorted selection of time series data sets.

    Weigh in Chris, please.

  36. Bill Jones Says:

    Chris,

    What is a reasonable person supposed to think about someone as young as you, and as quick and rash in their judgments as you are, completing a time series personality survey, then posting it online, and claiming that your are NOT a narcissist.

    I am a physicist and mathematician and retired from the Navy after having held command of a submarine.

    I am a public school teacher.

    So, what are you chops there Newbie? Science at the weakest UC in the system? No field work in science? TFA program? Interest in social justice and equity?

    I will use a little Navy logic on you. IF you were the solution, things would already be better. They are not.

    Come sit down with the rest of us Chris, we do not bite.

    And you just may learn something.

  37. Chris Smyr Says:

    More reasoned debate is needed.

    You are a liar.

    There are several ways to read these lines, and each of them makes me laugh.

    I’m also not sure why you decided to post your rants in this thread. Why not obfuscate a more current thread?

    Anyway, can you give a cite for what you’re talking about? From what I’ve read, I’ve not encountered “SIGNIFICANT AUTO CORRELATION PROBLEMS” that had devastating effects on the use of the modeling.

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