An interesting post by Jim Horn in Schools Matter today.
Our teachers’ union here in Seattle just agreed to having students tested this fall to create a base measurement of student achievement that will be used the next year to track how a student is performing the following year. This is right out of the ed-reformist playbook and has been used around the country to ease teachers into the idea of high stakes testing and performance pay. Now the teachers are stuck with this contract for three years. The Goodloe-Johnson/Broad/Gates triumvirate orchestrated this campaign well by first, during negotiations last year, demanding that the contract be revisited this year and in the meantime having the Alliance for Education come in with their campaign on teacher “effectiveness” waving the NCTQ report, all paid for by Gates, creating faux roots groups and creating pressure on the teachers who believed that the entire community wanted them to do this.
Nice work Dr. Goodloe-Johnson. You have done well for your benefactor, Eli Broad.
It was bizarre watching this unfold. Many of us were on the blogs trying to get through to folks that this was happening. Many heard us but it didn’t get through to the teachers, no thanks in part to their union leadership. Bafia is a big question mark with his association with the Alliance for Education and the other union leaders all acted like ships without a sail.
This is going to affect how teachers teach and has no positive impact on our children.
On top of that, there is a clause in the new contract that states that if Teacher for America recruits are hired (buried in the language of the ed reform Bill 6696 that was passed by our state this year, has a clause about hiring “alternative certified teachers” a.k.a. Teach for America recruits. This bill was pushed big time by the Alliance and the Seattle PTSA), then the contract is to come up for re-negotiation.
Jim Horn’s post below underlines the fact that this is a typical move made by ed-reformers. Below is the first part of his post.
Jay Mathews is the insider’s insider on corporate education reform issues, serving as the media mouthpiece for the psychological sterilization movement of KIPP and the KIPP knock-offs. The Elder himself, Bill Gates, carries a supply of Jay’s KIPP book to hand out to anyone interested in the Oligarchs’ choice of a final solution to educating the poor and the brown of urban America.
At the same time KIPP is becoming the urban model for corporate ed reform, the movement is in the process of pivoting from the the phony campaign under Bush ostensibly to close the black-white achievement gap, with the same high expectations for all, thus avoiding “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” blah-blah, to a new phony campaign of assuring that poor children have the same access to high quality teachers and schools because education is now the “civil rights issue of our generation.” Blah, blah, blah. While the pivot leaves in place the high-stakes standardized testing that declared 30-40 percent of public schools failures and charter targets under the last 9 years of NCLB, the pivot demands a shift in what is measured by the tests and how it is measured. The achievement gap has left the stadium, ladies and gentlemen, while growth models have taken the stage. Now that the urban school systems have been blown up, thus clearing the way for the corporate charterites, the canyon between test scores of the rich and poor is no longer of interest. Indeed, the achievement gap has become a “mindless measure,” to use the words of Jay Mathews.
The focus now is on “a year’s worth of individual student growth” for a year’s worth of teaching (much more on this later, with a feature on the Wizard of Oz, Bill Sanders). In short, the new target of corporate ed reform is to blow up, or disrupt, the teaching profession by measuring effective teaching on how much test score growth a teacher can oversee. And as the new CEO-led KIPP chain gangs are to replace urban public schools, so then an endless stream of non-union white missionary temps are being prepared to replace the professionals who now staff the urban schools. Test score gains, or lack thereof, will be used to justify the firing of professionals and the use of temps from TFA and the TFA knock-offs that Arne fondly calls alternative teacher certification programs.