Where does your state fall?

No doubt about The New Teacher Project’s role in helping move the needle on improving teacher evaluation and fostering a policy climate that values effective teachers. Today TNTP released Interpreting Race to the Top, with useful information and tools for stakeholders involved in applying for the funds. Sure to spark some controversy is their analysis of each state’s current competitiveness for funding.

Guestblogger Celine Coggins, Founder of Teach Plus

3 Replies to “Where does your state fall?”

  1. Thanks for the link. My bifocals made be click the TNTP report below the one you cited. But that’s OK, the TNTP reports are pretty inter-changable, long on governance, great graphics, long on theory and math logic, but short on education. Never is there any explanation of their hypothesis that their “reforms” would improve teacher quality.

    I just reread the Tulsa grant proposal, obviously guided by the TNTP, for a $55 million merit pay grant. When I reread the details of the Value Added Models that would be used to “exit” teachers, I had to go back and reread it again. Can’t Gates afford lawyers? They propose to exit 29% of 5th grade math teachers if they don’t improve. And yet they set up a system that guarantees that Gates, TNTP, and Tulsa will lose in court. They think the results of a growth model devised for 5th grade will stand up in court when trying to fire a 9th grade biology teacher. You all don’t want to hear the inside baseball arguments, but any defense attorney would rip them to shreds.

    So why go down that road? Do they want one well–publicized legal defeat after another guaranteeing a Republican governor? Last year, it took a veto to keep the Republicans from turning every school in Oklahoma into a charter and ending most due process rights.

    Or do they want one well-publicized legal defeat after another until they can win the war by destroying unions? If “reformers” want every teacher to be an “at will” employee they should say so.

    But the TNTP report on Indianapolis had a couple of interesting details. It proposed hiring new teachers by May 1. That, of course, would be great. All they need to do is pass a law tripling the hours in the day in April. They proposed time motion studies of principals to determine the amount of time they devote to instruction. I could save them the effort for hardcore urban schools. In schools I’ve seen, answer is close to 0%.

    What are they smoking? I’ve never seen a principal who didn’t work 80, 90 hours per week. I’ve never seen a principal who didn’t go weeks or months at a time without having instruction enter their consciousness. After all, if they had time for classroom observations, it wouldn’t be hard to fire ineffective teachers. And the idea that a principal would have a single spare minute in April?

    That reminds me. Before NCLB our counselors and teachers worked continually through April to get our seniors to be the first in their family to attend college. Unless you’ve done it, you don’t realize how time-consuming the hand-holding is. But it was one of our favorite parts of the job.

    With all of the testing, how can counselors even think about counseling students?

    Which, of course, is my basic point. The TNTP can put together pretty reports, but they have no relation to the real world.

  2. John,

    I think you should change your tag to “Ed Kaczynski: The Edubomber.”

    Your screeds read like Kaczynski’s letters and your arguments explode in a burning ball of logical fallacies and uninformed pronouncements.

    TNTP “has no relation to the real world?”. Puh-leez — stop burdening us with this sort of claptrap.

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