In VA NAACP Jumps In! In New York More New Teachers Jump Out. And Media And Taste

In Virginia the NAACP comes out opposed to the Commonwealth’s new race and income-based school performance targets (pdf).  Backstory via items below.

Despite a judge ruling in favor of the parents, the “Parent Trigger” debate continuing in Adelanto, CA.  Complicated set of issues in play.

Over the past decade there has been a lot of talk about how to make teacher tenure a meaningful bar as a way of strengthening the teacher profession substantively and in the public eye. In many places tenure was nearly universal and data – for instance from the recent Irreplaceables report from TNTP – show that some tenured teachers perform at the same level as novices. With tenure reform on the table, data from New York illustrate what a shift like this might look like. Now there needs to be more focus on investing in quality training and professional development after the tenure point.

Other New York question – will the food be as tasty!?

Media companies making plays in education – The Times notices.  Here’s my take on one sliver of this via TIME.

8 Replies to “In VA NAACP Jumps In! In New York More New Teachers Jump Out. And Media And Taste”

  1. What’s the backstory on VA’s new race/income based performance targets? Is it a response by Virginia to low evaluations of certain schools under NCLB (possibly as a means to avoid a ‘failing school’ designation and concurrent sanctions)?

  2. Everybody’s Talking
    about the Reuters take down of Teach For America, the non-profit organization that runs a surplus while claiming the need to suckle off the American teat.


    Meanwhile, TFA has backed away from a claim that nearly half its teachers achieve outstanding academic gains with students, leaving the pivotal question of its effectiveness unresolved.

    Camika Royal, who taught for TFA and has worked for them in various capacities for 13 years, says she once believed the organization’s goal was to strengthen troubled schools. Now she fears it is feeding a perception that public education is in ruins, and only an elite cavalry can rescue America’s children.

    “I can’t stand the self-importance,” Royal said.

    My take from this: while this is a blemish on the shine of TFA’s apple, it will be forgotten weeks, maybe even days from now. Also, despite their expansive claims, (90% from the 13th percentile to the 90th percentile; the above quoted take back), TFA has firmly ensconced itself amongst the opinion makers who will overlook these “faults” because this is the last chance of the government to prove its ability to advance liberal goals after the failure of the War on Poverty.
    And besides, the tens of thousands TFA alum, why even Camika and Gary, know that Wnedy’s heart and mind are in the right place.

  3. Second money line from Kevin:

    “When you experience success with a group of students who typically are assumed to not be able to achieve at high levels … it becomes impossible to accept when other people make excuses,” said Kevin Huffman, who taught 5- and 6-year-olds in Houston for TFA in the early 1990s.

    Huffman, now the education commissioner in Tennessee, recalls that he worked ferociously, 60 and more hours a week, to boost his students’ test scores. That was possible for a driven 22-year-old who knew he would only be teaching a few years. It would be much harder, he acknowledged, for a mid-career teacher with a family.

    Raise the test scores of 5 year olds.
    It’s really touching to see that Kevin did that for just three years.

  4. That was an epic takedown of TFA, but really, not so much news to those of us who actually teach for a living and are dedicated to our craft. But Philip, would you care to expand on “because this is the last chance of the government to prove its ability to advance liberal goals after the failure of the War on Poverty.”? I don’t want to misunderestimate your meaning here…

    “the government” is many things to many people in many different situations, yes? And as you likely know, I just posted in defense of the War on Poverty so, I would ask you to be clear about your meaning and context.

    I think we can all agree that Wendy’s heart and mind are always in the right place…somewhere in-between influence and peddling and grifting.

    60 hours a week?


  5. Irreplaceable is now a meme.

    Imagine if a new employee ran around the office complex whinging about being “irreplaceable”. What would happen?

    Would TNTP have a clue.

    No, they are an isolated non-profit filled with nabobs.

    We have reached a deadly point in our country. We are run by those whose hands are ON KEYBOARDS and not producing product or providing tangible services.

    Supposedly, they are providing valuable information. This is a very large assumption.

    What is certain is this. We are now so nastily pursuiing the action takers that we may never have another hands-on do’er in this nation.

    Right now we have, in the blogosphere, decided that the single person who contributes the MOST to the education of a child, and is PAID THE LEAST in the edu-blob will be punished for minor transgressions.

    How much longer can this idiocy continue?

    R and his bloggy buddies are entirely unaccountable for what they say and do.

    Will holding ONE element of the entire edu-blob 100% accountable for every single aspect of that quaking mass of incompetence, MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

    The answer is simple. No.

    How many experts do we now have in the teaching profession. And what is the ratio of teaching experts to actual tip of the spear teachers in the classroom.

    Someone find that ratio. I bet it is about 7 to 1.

    And that my friends is worse than the DoD.

    Little factoid. An E-1 warrior in the military, when support is considered, is costing taxpayers nearly $130K per year. What is it for teachers?

    I am irrreplaceable…..waaaaaa….

    Give me a break.

  6. Just a sense of perspective.

    The normal hitch for an E1 warrior is five years.

    TFA are blooded warriors, ready for big six figure salaries, after two years.

    THAT is an unsustainable business model.

    The math is incontrovertible. TFA gets a finders fee of $5K to $7K per teacher and that teacher gets regular teach pay. Those teachers roll out every two years.

    So, the district is PAYING MORE THAN THEY SHOULD for a teacher. And Wendy is laughing ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK.

    Education has never had good choices from the private sector. Just look at the over-promise under-deliver monopolized edu-tech industry or the flat-out incompetent, fat, lazy, textbook monopolists.

    What is happening to education is a gang rape by the private sector.

    Wendy’s pay is $387K per year. How is THAT reform. That is a RESOURCE RE_ALLOCATION RIGHT OUT OF CLASSROOMS into the pocket of the MOST isolated person there is in education.

    Whoops. That is an epic fail.

  7. TFA:

    STOP already.

    Their head of stats said that MOST OF THEIR DATA came from locally developed assessments.

    In effect TFA teachers were proctoring their OWN TESTS.

    Now, how can that in anyway or form be legitimate data?

    TFA is smoke and mirrors, pure and simple.

    Hold them accountable, publish their names, publish their test scores, and then let the chips fall where they may. Let me experience the same threat as happens to other teachers:
    “If you cannot teach, then WHAT CAN YOU DO.”

    Teaching is now a job threatening experience for new candidates. Screw up and you may NEVER work again.

    Is this what R wants? Is this what the edu-blob wants. Yep.

    I told my children, under threat of loss of college funding, that IF they mentioned any kind of teaching job I would NOT pay for their college education.

    Teaching is a 100% losing proposition. If you fail, then it is because you are a failure. If you win and big, it was just an easy job.

    Teaching is now a stain, a mark of incompetence and shiftlessness. It is what it is. Does that make anyone worry about the direction of this country?

    What would happen if we let the blog do the same thing to our military. We would be defeated.

    What will bloggers do in the future IF our country fails. Who would take them in? Where would they go? What would they do?

  8. I retired as a Commander (XO) from the navy. I am puzzled by the policies advanced by the edu-reform movement.

    DoD is NOT known for good treatment of its sailors or officers. But the reforms promulgated and enforced by the edu-reform movement are some of the craziest I have seen.

    Even DoD would not put in place the kind of punishments and misplaced incentives that are daily advanced by the edu-blob movement.

    Who am I to comment? Just a proven leader, a blooded warrior who worked with and motivated the very public school students who were once obstreperous adolescents giving their math teacher perfect hell.

    I think I can comment. I think the non-profit shallow self appointed leaders of the edu-blob movement are rear echelon cowards.

    We need to PUSH them to front lines. They need to get out, roll up their sleeves and turn to. We need them in the trenches.

    I see a significant adverse selection problem here. What quality candidate will accept the gamble of teaching? The odds are simply not in favor of outstanding performance. This is NOT a union problem.

    It is due to a cacophony of recommendations that are at odds with RATIONAL HUMAN CONDUCT. I do not see the kind of quality in math and science that this nation needs running to the public or the charters or privates for that matter.

    Rational, talented people KNOW what is best for them. They do not want the teacher treatment. After my retirement, I thought about teaching. Heck, my entire tuition would have been paid by TTT(Troop to Teachers.)

    It took me ten minutes to see the lose-lose proposition. I took a job where I would not be subjected to the abuse of irrational parents and misbehaved children. Smart people like me DO NOT NEED THAT.

    I also saw that I COULD very easily be an irreplaceable, a sure winner, and a very valuable commodity. And that anywhere I worked would be BLESSED TO HAVE ME.

    But I saw perverse incentives. If I did every thing I just claimed, and I know I would, I would be be the expected, the run of the mill. If I proved less than perfect, I would be front page news. A poster boy for what is wrong with public education. And that mediocre result would have been entirely outside my control.

    One of the major rules of naval leadership is that subordinates, if overwhelmed by entirely unexpected events over which they have NO CONTROL can fold, collapse, and give up. It is called the Seligman effect. And I think it is occurring right now in the teaching profession. These people have been BEAT TO PIECES. They are overwhelmed. Heck, soldiers, sailors,Marines, and airman are given MORE CONTROL IN COMBAT.

    My career, my proven abilities over 22 years of the purest form of performance and leadership told me that I would NOT allow my character and skills be held hostage by a poisonous political environment.

    Teaching is a LOSE LOSE proposition. Under direct order, neither of my children are teachers. I can now rest easy. They will NOT be fresh meat for the edublob.

    This is meant to be a royal “blow off” to the edu-blob. You are at cross purposes with your moral obligation to help students. And talented, proven performers like me want no part of it.

    In Navy slang, ” You ought to be working FOR ME.”

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