Thursday, February 23, 2012

Still struggling . . .
I need to let this issue go, but every time I read something like this I struggle to suspend my assumption that the real driver behind evaluation reform is not support over time for teacher growth. The “this” is a Times editorial supporting the need for our state’s waiver request.  Please know I support the need for and request for the waiver.  The last paragraph is what triggers my ladder of inference.

President Obama so far has granted waivers to 10 of 11 states that applied. Washington's reform efforts haven't been the strongest — nor the weakest. But this state, with new legislation, is poised to meet a key request of the Obama administration to strengthen the teacher-evaluation system in public schools. We've earned a dose of flexibility.

So, with the recent Senate change to the evaluation process requiring the use of student assessment data in three areas, we meet one of the federal government’s requirements to qualify for waivers and future federal dollars also tied to this requirement.  How much of the change to the process was driven by the need to support teacher growth and how much by the need to meet federal waiver requirements?  I’m trying to suspend my assumption, but it gets more difficult when I read things like this.  I guess I’ll need to accept that both reasons are drivers for this reform and that both MAY be valid.  That will take some more reflection on my part, but I’m open to considering it.

What do you think?  If we want to be positioned for federal dollars in the future it makes little sense to not align with the requirements for waivers and grants.  I guess a little more transparency on the part of the policy makers related to the purpose for the evaluation revisions would be appreciated by me.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

I needed to leave town unexpectedly for a family emergency during Mid-Winter break, and I'm not sure I can make a sensible comment today after just getting off the road for 20 hours.

I did want you to know, though, that you now have another blog reader; my father-in-law in Colorado. Your influence is spreading farther and farther.

One other reflection after all that driving...Maple Valley is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.