Education: A Golden Age

“The education sector’s structure and policies will change more in the next 3 years than they changed in the last 2,500 years”

New York City DOE steadfastly promoting accountability, despite UFT opposition


February 27, 2008 — The New York City teachers union is on the warpath.

And, no, the United Federation of Teachers isn’t demanding longer hours during which to teach students.

Or insisting that teachers be allowed to give more homework.

Instead, in prime-time TV ads that began airing this week, the union protests that poor, fragile young people are being tested too much.

Don’t believe it.

What really has the union so upset is that one element of the city Department of Education’s ongoing accountability drive entails tying teacher evaluations to student scores on standardized tests.

It’s funny.

The union was OK with the concept of “accountability” when it meant that teachers would get bonus money depending on schoolwide assessment.

But as soon as DOE reveals that individual teachers would be partly assessed by student performance on tests, the union goes to battle stations.

As usual, the UFT pretends it’s only concerned for the kids, charging that the emphasis on tests – particularly for math and English – crowds out worthy topics of study such as science, language, arts, etc.

Says UFT President Randi Weingarten: “Focusing so narrowly . . . and subjecting our children to excessive test prep denies them a well-rounded education, which is counterproductive to their long-term academic achievement.”

In the short term, of course, kids weren’t learning how to read and write. Imagine growing to adulthood without being able to add well enough to balance a checkbook.

And in the Information Age, kids who fall through the cracks at school are condemned to a lifelong struggle.

Sorry: These ads are just the union’s bid to prevent the use of objective standards to measure teacher effectiveness.

It’s that simple.


2008/02/27 - Posted by | New York, New York City, Performance - teacher, Performance pay, Policy, Unions, US, Vouchers

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