To follow is the testimony of the SEA President Olga Addae given to the Seattle Public School Board on August 18, 2010:
I’m Olga Addae, President of Seattle Education Association.
In these tough economic times the district once again prioritizes spending their limited resources for “things” and not services for our students.
Will the 2.5 million dollars for new technology enhance student learning? I doubt it.
Will the new technology close the Achievement Gap? Definitely not!
What other technological machinery does SPS propose to waste its limited resources on? Nearly 4 million dollars to mechanize and automate the teacher evaluation system.
Will tying test scores to teacher evaluation enhance student learning? NO!
Will tying test scores to evaluations close the Achievement Gap? Definitely NOT.
The district can not show any evidence that tying student test scores to evaluations will enhance student learning.
So what purpose can it SERVE?
- It serves to mechanize/automate firing teachers
- It serves to dismantle collaboration amongst educators
- It serves to increase “teaching to the test”
- It serves to narrow the curriculum choices for students
- It serves to undermine our Profession of Teaching
I stand on the integrity and experience of our profession. Educators know:
- Children are more than test scores
- Teaching is more than “teaching to a test”
As professionals we say “No” to the improper use of tests and the destruction the district plans to serve to our students and teachers.
We will not sell out our profession or our students for failed and an unproven education policy driven by the Gates and Broad Foundations hidden agenda.
We will not sell out our profession or our students because our experience tells us that it is only through enhancing our profession through collaboration; collaboration that leads to “ongoing inquiry” , that we will build a quality education system for our students.
We the educators seek authentic accountability? Yes! Hold us accountable to our teaching practice!
The SEA and SPS joint Professional Growth and Evaluation Task Force has developed a robust evaluation system that not only holds us accountable to our teaching practice but builds collaboration and professional learning communities that will enhance student learning.
This shift in education culture is the only proven way to close the Achievement Gap.
It uses student outcome data, explicitly as stated in law: To reflect and improve our teaching practice.
We are about to embark on a “historical cultural shift” not a packaged program.
Creativity, professional autonomy, collaboration, and authentic evaluation, are the foundations to a quality public education that all students deserve.
DO NOT: Block the way of this historic change
DO NOT: Serve Seattle students anything less.
Honor our collaborative work.