Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cloud covering . . .

Though it was a sunny day in our community, black clouds moved in over the Tahoma School District this morning. As I shared in this post, the Senate teacher evaluation bill was a concern for me that may now turn out to be valid. I received a voice mail from an OSPI staff member who has been following our work and who knows the intent of the legislation. The message is that the new bill has tightened up on a districts ability to receive a waiver from adopting one of the three state approved models that I shared in this post.

Districts must now adopt one of the models and can make minor adjustments. As with much of what we do, we are using the framework and research from one of the models to support creation of our own Classroom 10 tool. This would not be viewed in a waiver process as minor adjustments. Unfortunately, the work that we have been doing for many years may be influenced by forces outside of our control; legislators with no confidence in our ability to create and implement a rigorous evaluation tool mandating a choice of three models.

I have experienced many emotions today related to the passage of the bill and to the later phone message. The situation is made more difficult because it is tied to a deep belief about how these decisions should be made. I am struggling to suspend my assumptions that these changes are not about support over time, but are more driven by the need to align with the federal education department’s demands and the perception that using student assessment data will help get rid of bad teachers. I must, however, identify a way to suspend them so that we can bring the TPEP team together, identify our options, and move forward.

I’ll share more as we learn more.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the reminder to suspend our thoughts. For some reason, it is education that is on the chopping block for what is wrong with our country. We have been poking blame at everyone but the politicans. What is the old saying, three fingers point back to yourself when you point a finger in blame?
I personally am trying to NOT climb any higher on my ladder, but I am sort of frozen in the middle. I cannot believe that the politicians are going to go through with this. It makes me wonder if we should inact the same level of accountability on them as well. I love the post by Warren Buffet, 5 minute plan to Fix the Deficit, I am sure most politicians would be very much aganist this proposal that makes sense.
Your posts are all very melancholy. Makes me sad for my kids, collegues, and my country that we cannot lay aside our differences to fix the real problem. Sigh... wonder if Starbucks is hiring?