Saturday, March 9, 2013

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One of the criticisms I have of the WEA's support of the new evaluation system is that huge amounts of money are being diverted to professional development and away from more critical needs that directly impact students (such as class size, curriculum, or student support). The canard we've been sold is that many children are failing because public schools are failing--and public schools are failing because there are many incompetent teachers who have been shielded from accountability and removal by unions. If only all of those bad teachers--and there must be veritable hordes--could be dismissed and the remainder be improved, there would be no more failure.

This simply is not true.

After the first few years, most teachers figure out how to teach or they leave the profession. They also figure out that most professional development is repetitive, repackaged, and marketing the latest elixir touting "The Answer" to a gullible population. Public education has always been a tempting and rewarding corpulent cash cow with a bulging udder to savvy hucksters.

The new evaluation system requires all school districts to adopt an instructional framework. The screenshot is of one of those, Marzano. Can you imagine the bonanza for these select companies that are in the business of selling their books, DVDs, online access, consultants, etc.?

Teachers don't need endless professional development to teach "better." Most professionals work on their craft in conscientious and continuous ways--usually in spite of the latest regurgitated drivel dressed up as PD.

I believe if Johnny indeed can't read (or cipher or spell or understand civics or . . .), Johnny and Johnny's parents and Johnny's legislators and Johnny's society need to do their jobs.

We're already--and have been--doing ours. Where's WEA's messaging on that?

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