Saturday, January 15, 2011

Teacher Data Reports

This is my new Sideshow Bob look. 

This is the Save the Date card Jonathan made for our wedding.

Let me say I'm shocked they are going to release these teacher data reports. I'm not opposed to it-- if a teacher is ineffective they shouldn't be in the classroom-- no doubt, but wow, it seems like a huge thing to do. Imagine if you could read the performance report for all the adults you interact with: your doctors, your garbageman, your accountant, your drycleaner, the cop who gives you a speeding ticket. Imagine the potential unintended consequences: parents calling nonstop to get their kid in the most effective teacher's class, teachers feeling economic pressure to get a low scoring kid taken out of their class and put in special ed, teachers with mortgages only teaching test prep all year long. It just makes me wonder if they've thought this through*.
       I like the idea of teachers being measured on what skills they have taught, but I'm not sure the English tests are good enough to do this (maybe math is).  I'm not sure that you can measure much about reading and writing from multiple choice tests, and the grading of the written portions is potentially very random: it's done in long, mind-numbing, paid-by-the-hour grading sessions, without much control for consistency or room for appeal. There are also too many ways to game the system. I know an English teacher, for example, who only gives his class boring 2.5 page biographical articles to read, because that's the most common genre on the state test. Or you could easily spend 6 months making them take practice test after practice test-- your students will hate you and reading by the time you're done, but they'll test really well.
      I will be told how effective I am in a meeting next Friday.



*While we are on the subject, how amazing was Cathy Black's comment, “Couldn’t we just have some birth control for a while?” during a meeting about overcrowded schools.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are stunningly beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous' comment above is stunningly pathetic.

As for birth control, if you leftists would cut back on the welfare state and immigration, there would be less of them filling the schools. It's not well-off whites and asians that are breeding at a record pace.

Brian Lafferty said...

Let's hope 6:18 has his ducts cut or her tubes tied real soon. That's where the real threat lies regarding propagation.

anjiaoshi said...

Do all blogs attract this many racists, or is it just yours?

BTW, when I say "racists," I'm not talking about drawing provably true demographic distinctions between ethnic groups (even if those groups are historically arbitrary). I'm talking about referring to members of those groups with words (such as "breeding") that are more properly used to discuss animals and bacteria, not other human beings. That is the vile and reprehensible choice that merits the term "racist."

Anonymous said...

She's hot and she has brains, too. That Jonathan is one lucky dude!

Anonymous said...

I was a high school teacher once... yeah basically what happens to high school teachers is that they get sh--ted on (pardon my french) by the following groups:

1) students: most students are well, teenagers, need I say more?
2) parents: many parents are nasty teachers, while the good parents don't make a fuss, teachers will get abused by parents constantly
3) administrators: these are the worst offenders: these people sit in offices all day long judging teachers and students and compiling reports that tell you how crappy a job you are doing.

being a teacher = getting sh--tted on. I don't mean to say that there aren't great things about this job- but no other job I have ever had has ever come close to the disrespect I recieved as a teacher.
Honestly, you would probably get more respect working as a sandwhich maker in a deli or as a bus boy in a restaurant.

Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so anjiaoshi is less concerned with facts than the words used to express those facts. Because if you want to smear someone with the 'r' word, might has well have a good reason.

By the way, a search of Google Scholar shows that 'breeding' is not reserved to lower life forms only. But I guess that just makes those scientists racists too.

Anonymous said...

Her English accent is very sexy!

Elizabeth Vicary said...

thank you!

Anonymous said...

You're nice,...in the Middle Ages they would definitely have burned you for that hair ...

Anonymous said...

During the Renaissance, they would have painted her!

Anonymous said...

I've never heard her speak, so whenever I read her blog, I "hear" her voice in a Brooklyn accent.

adam porth said...

I am saddened by the news of a teacher ranking system. I think this will eventually cause more problems for your district. What is the purpose of ranking the teachers? Will they correct for the "bad" classes? Students tend to get tracked by schedules in the first place (i.e., AP students tend to be in the same electives and cores), so who would want to teach a bunch of non-AP students? Are the gym teachers getting ranked by how fit their students are? How are they going to compare someone who just teaches spanish to someone who is teaching science? By the way, nice hair.

Anonymous said...

Nice hair, but what about a belly button photo!

gurdonark said...

I started to write a long pros and cons essay about public records and imperfect metrics, but then I realized I'd rather just say "that's a really great Sideshow Bob look, especially with the pearls!".

Anonymous said...

You look like a lesbian and Johnathan looks like a homoosexual
and this blog is SAD.

anjiaoshi said...

Ah, so anjiaoshi is less concerned with facts than the words used to express those facts.

Word choice matters. You can choose words that express concern, or you can choose words that express contempt. You chose contempt. You fail.

Anonymous said...

I prefer words that express reality. Those whose political beliefs are harmed by such an expression of reality tend to focus on how the words make them feel, rather than their truth value. This is a natural defense mechanism to avoid cognitive dissonance. But although it is natural, it is not healthy and should be consciously avoided. Reality is more important than ideology and if one must be discarded it should be the latter.

I hope the above has indicated a sufficient level of concern, rather than contempt.

Anonymous said...

Anjioshi is right.
This blog caters to racist people with racist thoughts and offensive words. Your attitude fosters this type of discourse, it is quite a shame. I don't think you should be teaching people's children and working with the "population" , you are working with because you must be very uncomfortable with those students.

anjiaoshi said...

I prefer words that express reality. Those whose political beliefs are harmed by such an expression of reality tend to focus on how the words make them feel, rather than their truth value.
Now you fail to distinguish opinion from fact, and are actually beginning to sound like Gene Ray.

Globular said...

Man, people are whacked in the head.

Sure, I go off on this (and a few other blogs) but I usually have at least a shread of an argument in there somewhere.

-Matt

P.S. Anyone else reminded of this? :)

Anonymous said...

Well, Globular
Whacked or not ,maybe you should use some basic common sense and realize that some of the things said here are extremely offensive.

I agree with Angiaoshi 100%!

Anonymous said...

I find a Brooklyn accent to be sexy, too.