Posts Tagged ‘Value added metric’

Bill Gates Continues To Purchase Major Teacher Unions and At Discount Rates

July 3, 2013

“We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”.

Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Dennis Van Roekel and the NEA,  brought to you by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Dennis Van Roekel and the NEA, brought to you by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill Gates, a private citizen of obscene wealth obtained largely through his monopolistic cunning and ruthless hoarding of intellectual property rights, has spent the greater part of the last decade insidiously and extra-legislatively dictating public school policy. Mr. Gates has no experience whatsoever in education. This, however, has not stopped him from gaining infinitely more power over my child’s education than I have and infinitely more power over your child than you have. This power, given to him by spineless politicians across the country but especially by Barack Obama, has allowed Gates to perform foolish experiment after foolish experiment on America’s children and America’s educators. These experiments include but are by no means limited to the deceptively named and privately owned Common Core States Standards and Value Added Metrics for teacher evaluations. They also include Gate’s ideas of students wearing “Galvanic bracelets” to measure something or other and video cameras in every classroom all the time as if teachers, are in fact, criminals. And there are many more including the latest intrusion of the rights of children, the data mining, InBloom. Furthermore, Gates has funded every countless phony anti union “grassroots “ group, ( my favorite the despicable union busting Educators 4 Excellence ) major media public relations campaigns agsinst the public school system like “Waiting For Superman” and NBC’s “Education Nation”. and even “public” institutions such as PBS and NPR, the last two of which have followed his scripts as if they were Gate’s valet. To top it off, Obama’s reprehensible Race To the Top, currently wreaking havoc from sea to shining sea – exactly as it was designed to do — was developed in the bowels of the Gates Foundation.

Without his 6o billion dollars, all of Gate’s fascistic ideas would be greeted with silence or a horselaugh and Mr. Gates would be considered a clown in the unlikely case he would be considered at all. With his 60 billion, Mr. Gates is the unelected, unaccountable Emperor of American Education. That is to say, public education, as Mr. Gates, like virtually all the education reformers, would never dream of subjecting his children or their teachers to the degrading, idiotic and debasing schemes he demands for our kids and their teachers.

Mr. Gates has spent the last decade simultaneously undermining and purchasing teacher unions, particularly the two largest, the National Education Association led by Dennis Roekel and American Federation of Teachers led by Randi Weingarten. Teacher unions were created to fight the very kind of imposition and degrading demands that Gates is implementing and forever proposing. Gates has made no secret of his contempt for teachers, even to the place of roaming the county suggesting their modest pensions are far too high.

Despite all this, both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, instead of ceaselessly pointing out to their members the danger of Mr. Gates and his kind, not merely to their profession but to a semblance of democracy itself, have repeatedly pretended that they can work Gates and all will be fine. Alternatively, they say stuff like, things are changing and unions must change with them.
One hears lots of this sort of defeated without a fight rubbish.
Privately, they insist they have no choice but to work with this man.

Why ? What happens if you don’t ?

Randi and Bill: Weingarten personally invited Bill Gates to be the keynote speaker at a national AFT Convention in an effort to promote “dialogue.”   Bill wasn’t listening.

Randi and Bill: Weingarten personally invited Bill Gates to be the keynote speaker at a national AFT Convention in an effort to promote “dialogue.” Bill wasn’t listening.

It is difficult to gauge the idiocy of this thinking. It is nothing less than suicidal. It is the reasoning of minds that have no understanding of how unions came to be and what they are for. That much the more when there is the track record of reckless experimentation on students and heretofore unimaginable teacher degradation to draw from. But it is not difficult to gauge the results. Schemes developed by Gates have already eliminated due process (tenure) for countless teachers, have already subjected teachers to an evaluation plan that is riddled with error and obscenities such as the contention that poverty is not a factor in student performance on standardized tests. It should be clear to anyone who has followed the billionaire backed farce called “education reform” that Bill Gates never “gives” a thin dime without somehow extracting much, much more in return. At this point, one would have to be crazy or clueless to be dealing with man. To be doing anything, that is, other than exposing him as the narcissistic, democracy hating monster that he is.

Both the NEA and the AFT are willingly becoming adjuncts of the Gates Foundation.
(If you think I exaggerate observe the NEA website which reads like an ad for Common) Core among other Gate’s schemes http://www.nea.org/home/609.htm )
It is time for members to do all that can be legally done to remove Mr. Dennis Van Roekel and Ms. Randi Weingarten from power. Indeed, long past time.

Their actions are beyond parody and beyond disgrace and lead only one way: complete and utter disempowerment for union members. I do not know how this can be done but I know it must before the very idea of a union – that which without there can be neither dignity nor rights for workers of any kind – is completely eviscerated from this land. Such evisceration is precisely the goal of Mr. Gates and his kind and they will succeed if we do not stop them.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacherbeat/2012/05/gates_foundation_awards_550000.html

Educators 4 Excellence and the Strings They Pull

January 3, 2013

Once again the farce that calls itself Educators for Excellence, a minuscule organization existing solely to implement the will of its hubristic and anti-democratic billionaire backers, most prominently Bill Gates and the hedge fund gang that calls itself Democrats for Education Reform, have managed to land yet another editorial in a major New York paper, this time the New York Daily News.

There is, of course, no sane reason that as microscopic an organization as is E4E would be treated with such respect and prominence other than the fact that the same people who have ponied up over two million dollars for the two year old propaganda group paid other people to make   some serious phone calls to the honchos at the DN and the heroes of the “Liberal Media” found it advantageous to do their bidding. Hence, another editorial for E4E.

It is more than ironic that these people have the gall to speak of merit.

The editorial, like Educators 4 Excellence itself, is pathetic.   And, like all the times I have actually encountered this deceptive little group, I was almost initially disarmed by pathos.  The last time was a few weeks back at a tiny and tinny E4E rally for the same cause in which head shill Evan Stone, with characteristic humility, bellowed idiotically into a microphone to his 30 or so followers, “ I am not satisfactory!  I am excellent!” with all the energy and passion of a depressed salamander.

For a moment I could not help but pity the poor fool who was trying so hard to please his ultra-wealthy employers who have removed him from the hard work of teaching so as to allow him to play dummy to their ventriloquist.     What else can one feel but pathos?

For a moment, anyway.

In the editorial, pathetically tilted  “Please help me to be a better teacher ” you have the same message, slightly augmented.   You might call this an Educators 4 Excellence version of   Paradise Lost desiring deeply to enter Paradise Regained.

Here you have the song of a teacher who claims that she relocated from the middle of the country “after working as a public school teacher for five years in Colorado” and  “moved to New York City because of its reputation for being on the cutting edge of innovation in all things,” assuming, of course, in education.

Here “cutting edge” needs be understood as the educational version of a century old scientific management, also called Taylorism: “a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management. Its development began with Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s and 1890s within the manufacturing industries.”

Taylorism was beloved by Henry Ford and any number of industrialists.

“Value added metrics” or VAM is a great grand child of Taylorism and as such is a half-baked completely unreliable and fraudulent method of evaluation that links students test scores to their teachers. It can torpedo teaching careers with no justification whatsoever.     Only a person utterly without an ethical center would inflict this crazy system on any teachers.  E4E, like their corporate overlords, are gaga over VAM.  At   least those who know of VAM’s existence, which, at least in terms of their rally, were very, very few.

Alas, hoping to encounter Paradise in “cutting edge” New York, the angst-ridden   author encounters only Paradise Lost and found herself longing for the system she had fled in which Denver  “successfully implemented a teacher evaluation and compensation system known as ProComp when I was working there. Under ProComp, teachers are evaluated by multiple measures, including student growth data, the amount of professional development they participate in and thoughtful, meaningful classroom observations.”

Ah, for the happy days of ProComp!  Alas, one wonders why she fled such an educational Eden in the first place.

Her next lines read as if they were penned by a committee.

“The city and the teachers union have until Jan. 17 to negotiate such a system or risk losing $300 million in state education aid. And if they don’t, we’ll lose a lot more than money, missing an important opportunity to create a world-class teaching force that can provide a great education to every child in the city no matter where they live or which classroom they end up in each year.”

The writer either does not know or  does not care that not a thin dime of the $300 million is  destined for the classroom.  The writer either does not know or does not care that the evaluation system is based partly on the presumption of good faith on the part of administrators – a good faith precious few NYC teachers have seen evidence of since the advent of the Eternal Mayor and his eternal war upon them — and partly on demonstrably bad science called Value Added Metrics.  In short, to implement such an evaluation system as it stands would be to treat the career of New York City teachers as if with a roll of the dice, a scenario that would not seem to faze Mr. Bloomberg in the least.  Or E4E.  Or Bill Gates. Or Democrats for Education Reform.  Or Andy Cuomo.  Or Barack Obama.

Sorry, we need to take your license.  You can never work as a teacher again.  But it’s for the kids, you understand.

Another part of her letter, considering that it entirely concerned with the appalling shortcomings of appalling administrators,  is nothing short of an unintended exposure and indictment of the Bloomberg administration.

“My experience in New York has been quite different. In my first job here, working with students who were considered some have the most disabled in the city, I received tenure without so much as ever having the principal observe me teach. The feedback I received was limited to a checklist that included things like the quality of my bulletin boards.

Never did I get useful feedback on my classroom management; never did I get quality advice on how to better differentiate my instruction to reach more students, and never did I receive insights from coaches or mentors on what had or hadn’t worked for them.”

The author seems to be clueless as to who is responsible for the above but assumes, somehow, the new evaluation plan will transform these incompetents into stellar performers – to use a word cherished by Ed reformers.

Finally there is yet another pathetic attempt to frame the argument in hipster language.

“There is simply no reason New York cannot do the same for its teachers. There is simply no reason that a city that has been at the leading edge on so many other things can’t lead on this.”

But all of this nonsense begs the question of why does this infinitesimal organization which represents less than 1% of teachers and would vanish back in to the hell from which it came the moment its sugar daddies ceased bankrolling it, repeatedly land editorials in widely circulated newspapers, seats on educational forums and interviews with Fox News and the Wall Street Journal ?

Of course, in a nation in which the 1% are waging eternal war against all those who are not them, it is apposite that it is so.  It is also reprehensible.

I said earlier that my dealing with E4E have sometimes led me to be almost disarmed by their pathos.  For a time,  for a time.

But then I think about what they doing, their level of their conscious deceit and cynicism masquerading as innocence and honesty. I think about the cold blooded hubris it takes to try and undermine the last standing union of size in the nation because it will land you a soft cozy job on billionaire welfare.  But mostly I think about the almost animal like lack of empathy embedded in the reckless, unproven, untested policies they promote and the ruthless, predator nature for those they work for.  I think about all the fine teachers I know who have been thoroughly demoralized by the likes of the polices E4E and its masters so insidiously work to implement. I think of dear friends and fine beloved teachers with families whose careers have been destroyed by the same a-human impulse that drives all of this corporate reformer psychosis.

And then I feel something very different than pathos.

I moved here from Denver, where evaluations are more rigorous

Comments (12)

BY / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2, 2013, 2:55 AM
Mayor Bloomberg (l.) and UFT head Michael Mulgrew (r.) have frequently clashed over education reform.

ADAMS IV

Mayor Bloomberg (l.) and UFT head Michael Mulgrew (r.) have frequently clashed over education reform.

After working as a public school teacher for five years in Colorado, I moved to New York City because of its reputation for being on the cutting edge of innovation in all things. Little did I know that when it came to teacher preparation and support, I’d be taking a big step backward.

Today, five years after my move, our schools still haven’t caught up to forward-looking states like Colorado — and parents and students are left to wonder why there is often such a disparity in teacher quality from classroom to classroom.

A robust teacher evaluation system would begin to help change that by providing educators with meaningful, data-driven feedback about their performance — hopefully leading to training and mentoring opportunities to help us improve in the areas where we struggle.

The city and the teachers union have until Jan. 17 to negotiate such a system or risk losing $300 million in state education aid. And if they don’t, we’ll lose a lot more than money, missing an important opportunity to create a world-class teaching force that can provide a great education to every child in the city no matter where they live or which classroom they end up in each year.

Better evaluation is hardly a novel concept. In Denver, which is a fraction of the size of New York, we successfully implemented a teacher evaluation and compensation system known as ProComp when I was working there. Under ProComp, teachers are evaluated by multiple measures, including student growth data, the amount of professional development they participate in and thoughtful, meaningful classroom observations.

In turn, highly effective teachers in Denver can receive financial bonuses and leadership opportunities — things that signal to educators that performance matters. Studies have shown a positive impact on student achievement, and Denver is now evolving the system to meet new needs and challenges.

My experience in New York has been quite different. In my first job here, working with students who were considered some of the most disabled in the city, I received tenure without so much as ever having the principal observe me teach. The feedback I received was limited to a checklist that included things like the quality of my bulletin boards.

Never did I get useful feedback on my classroom management; never did I get quality advice on how to better differentiate my instruction to reach more students, and never did I receive insights from coaches or mentors on what had or hadn’t worked for them.

I’m currently working at a school where my principal recognizes the value of observing her teachers and working with them to improve their practice. I’ve been fortunate to receive her feedback promptly — and I incorporate her assessments into my planning to enhance the education I am providing. It makes coming to work that much more rewarding, but receiving that support shouldn’t depend on the principal. Rather, it should be offered to every teacher in every school.

Across the country — from Los Angeles to Newark to Washington — many districts have successfully negotiated new evaluation measures.

There is simply no reason New York cannot do the same for its teachers. There is simply no reason that a city that has been at the leading edge on so many other things can’t lead on this.

City officials and the city’s teachers union, the United Federation of Teachers, need to get beyond their eternal grudge match and start thinking about how they can help teachers enhance their profession — which, in turn, can only increase student performance. They can start by providing us with a stronger means to evaluate our work.

Keyock is a special-education teacher at Metropolitan High School in the Bronx and a member of Educators 4 Excellence.

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Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/better-teacher-article-1.1230605#ixzz2GtqchgA7