From today’s New York Times:
The Chicago teachers’ strike was prompted in part by a fierce disagreement over how much student test scores will weigh in a new teacher evaluation system mandated by state law. That teachers’ unions in much of the country now agree that student achievement should count in evaluations at all reflects a major change from the past, when it was often argued that teaching was an “art” that could not be rigorously evaluated or, even more outrageously, that teachers should not be held accountable for student progress.
A couple of quick points.
1. One could argue that “unions in much of the country now agree” because they were strong armed into doing so by Race to the Top bribes of stimulus money to states who accepted these new teacher evaluation systems. Fighting it was a no win for the unions which have been the target of intense and focused attacks over the last few years.
2. No one ever argued that teachers should not be held accountable for student progress.
3. Most importantly, think about this piece: “unions in much of the country now agree that student achievement should count in evaluations.” Since it’s so obviously clear that “student achievement” only comes in the guise of test scores, I guess the rest of what accounts for learning doesn’t matter much.
One of my goal in the coming months is to keep being the rhetoric police when it comes to the way the mainstream media talks about this stuff.