Democratic leaders’ efforts to rewrite the state’s teacher evaluation law have stalled over the same disagreement that upended the last big push in the Legislature three years ago: stark differences in who gets to decide what goes into an evaluation.

The chief authors of the two nearly identically worded bills, AB 575 by Assembly Education Committee Chairman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, and SB 499 by Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Carol Liu, D-La Cañada-Flintridge, would open all aspects of an evaluation to collective bargaining. The California Teachers Association backs that position, too, although the CTA hasn’t openly endorsed either bill yet. Under the current law, known as the Stull Act, only evaluation procedures, such as when and how often classroom observations take place, are negotiable.

Two districts this year did show that the teacher evaluation process can be significantly improved through bargaining. But Long Beach Superintendent Chris Steinhauser and Fresno Superintendent Mike Hanson drew opposite conclusions from their experiences.

Education management groups and a coalition of civil rights organizations argue school boards and superintendents should determine the most important elements – evaluation criteria. Those criteria include definitions of acceptable levels of job performance and student progress; standards and metrics that teachers will be measured against, including standardized tests; and how much the various elements should count in the overall evaluation. That’s how the law stands now, although many districts on their own have chosen to negotiate evaluation criteria and other elements.

Making all elements subject to bargaining “would dramatically increase the complexity of contract negotiations and the frequency of impasse by giving unions the power to negotiate items related to teacher effectiveness,” the state Chamber of Commerce wrote in a July 6 letter to Liu on behalf of two dozen business, civil rights organizations and management groups, including the Association of California School Administrators and the California School Boards Association. Opponents argue that local unions would use disagreements over evaluation criteria as leverage for higher pay and benefits.

The CTA and the latest bills’ sponsors deny this. The goal is “to improve teachers’ skills and practices to improve student learning,” Claudia Briggs, communications assistant manager for the CTA, wrote in an email. Having teachers help shape evaluation systems, she added, will ensure they are “more supportive and equitable.”

Opponents of the bills point to a lawsuit filed last week by the advocacy group Students Matter as evidence of why subjecting evaluations to further negotiations would be risky. The lawsuit charges 13 districts with illegally bargaining away their obligation under the Stull Act to consider state standardized test scores as an element in a teacher’s evaluation. The law gives districts the discretion to determine how big a factor tests should play, and so would Liu’s and O’Donnell’s bills. Opponents of the bills say more districts would ban or minimize test scores and other student progress measures if they had to negotiate them.

Two districts this year did show that the teacher evaluation process can be significantly improved through bargaining. Both Fresno Unified and Long Beach Unified created more demanding and comprehensive evaluation systems than the Stull Act requires. They are among the six California districts that have received a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law. Strengthening the teacher evaluation process, including the use of student test scores, is one of the federal requirements to keep the waiver. Both Fresno and Long Beach are furthest along among the six districts in developing their new systems.

But Long Beach Superintendent Chris Steinhauser and Fresno Superintendent Mike Hanson drew opposite conclusions from their experiences. Steinhauser, who co-chaired a task force report for state Superintendent of Instruction Tom Torlakson on which the bills were partly based, agrees with the CTA that teachers should be intricately involved in creating evaluation systems. Teachers won’t work to continuously improve, which is the goal of an evaluation system, if they haven’t bought into the process, he said. Measurements of student progress, including state tests, must be part of the conversation, Steinhauser said, although in neither Long Beach nor Fresno will tests count as a set percentage of an evaluation.

But Hanson opposes AB 575 and SB 499 and said it took many rounds of discussions over five years “to get what I wanted in the contract.” Many superintendents don’t stay around that long or persist in bringing up important evaluation issues year after year, he said. Knowing that he ultimately could veto ineffective evaluation criteria helped drive the settlement, he said.

Bill Lucia, president and CEO of EdVoice, a nonprofit whose study of 26 districts found the majority failed to include data on test scores in evaluations, said that Long Beach is “unique” in the long-term working relationships that Steinhauser and the unions have built. In many other districts, expanding bargaining will lead to more disputes going before the state Public Employee Relations Board. “There will be new opportunities for a lot of lawyers to get involved,” he said.

Management groups’ resolute opposition to expanded bargaining makes passage problematic, even though the bills would address what both sides of the debate acknowledge are weaknesses in the current law.

Key changes

The bills would include these significant changes:

Levels of performance. The Stull Act has become a means to fire the worst teachers, not improve the performance of the rest. That’s because there are only two categories of performance: satisfactory and unsatisfactory. The bills would add a third unnamed category that could function as “needs improvement.” (Fresno Unified will now have four categories in its new system, including “Demonstrates Expertise” and “Growth Expected.” Long Beach has added a fifth category.)

More frequent evaluations. Under the Still Act, teachers who have been employed at least 10 years are to be evaluated every five years. Under both bills, those teachers would be evaluated every three years and other tenured teachers every two years.

Clearer criteria. The bills expand and elaborate on the Stull Act’s criteria for evaluating teachers. They would consider a broad range of skills, as described in the 30-page “California Standards for the Teaching Profession,” which the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing adopted in 1997. Many districts already incorporate them in their evaluations. The standards describe a half-dozen areas, such as how teachers engage students and collaborate with parents, prepare lessons, manage their classrooms and master subject matter. The bills also mandate a seventh criterion: how teachers contribute to student academic growth, which could be measured by students’ presentations and portfolios, or grades. Scores on district and state standardized tests would have to be included to some degree, too.

Training mandate. The bills would require the state to pay for training evaluators and supporting teachers who need help. A legislative analysis estimated the annual cost at $60 million – new money the state didn’t have three years ago but will likely have next year.

Earlier in the year, AB 1078, the Assembly Republicans’ evaluation bill, was defeated along party lines in the Assembly Education Committee. It included aspects of AB 575 and SB 499 without giving teachers more bargaining power. The fact that the chairs of both education committees introduced similarly worded bills, with House Speaker Toni Atkins and Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León as co-authors, emphasized how important Democratic leaders viewed teacher evaluation reform.

SB 499 passed the Senate on a partisan vote. AB 575 barely passed the Assembly by one vote, with nine Democrats initially withholding their support. Liu and O’Donnell then held back their bills from further action before the Legislature recessed for a month, which normally would put the bills on ice until next spring. But either bill could be revived with a waiver from the Rules Committee, and Atkins and de León could easily make that happen.

Liu’s spokesman, Robert Oakes, acknowledged there “has not been a meeting of the minds about the best approach” to resolve differences over the bills and conversations will continue. O’Donnell aide Brendan Hughes wouldn’t rule out seeking reconsideration of AB 575 in August or September.

“It’s a complicated issue, and we will continue to work on it. Does that mean the bill will come back this year? I don’t know,” he said.

Such ambiguity makes lobbyists for school districts wary.

“We don’t know what the endgame will be, but we believe it would be a grave error to conclude the fight is over for this year, and to think therefore that we can stop pressing on the issue, especially with the Administration,” Bob Blattner of Blattner and Associates wrote to clients. Blattner is a veteran lobbyist representing school districts and education agencies.

Gov. Jerry Brown has not yet taken a public position on either bill.


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  1. Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

    Navigio: That not an "argument" it's a reflection of the research. And obviously the 10% or 15% is a reflection of measured achievement, which is only a small part of a professional's role at school. Thera are plenty of efforts, Vergara and Friederichs and Bill Gates efforts to name a few, to undermine the ability of teachers to leverage their compensation. I'm not worried about my arguments. Teachers foes are billionaire who use proxies to put … Read More

    Navigio:

    That not an “argument” it’s a reflection of the research. And obviously the 10% or 15% is a reflection of measured achievement, which is only a small part of a professional’s role at school.

    Thera are plenty of efforts, Vergara and Friederichs and Bill Gates efforts to name a few, to undermine the ability of teachers to leverage their compensation. I’m not worried about my arguments. Teachers foes are billionaire who use proxies to put forth phony populist positions based on emotion and urban-myths. My arguments would be way too logical for them to try and use.

    I misinterpreted your use of the word “policy.” I now see your point. I totally agree.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

      This isn’t only billionaires. What about polls which show the majority of people of all incomes oppose LIFO/Seniority/accepted absenteeism/difficulty to fire poor teachers as it currently stands? They can’t all be billionaires.

  2. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    Welch attended East Coast public schools. He wasn't born into great wealth and he doesn't fit the model of your rather racist epithet - "a wealthy white male born into privilege with every possible advantage." in any case, I didn't realize that being white and rich precludes him from taking an interest in public schools. The people involved in Brown v. Board of Ed were not education insiders and specialists. And … Read More

    Welch attended East Coast public schools. He wasn’t born into great wealth and he doesn’t fit the model of your rather racist epithet – “a wealthy white male born into privilege with every possible advantage.” in any case, I didn’t realize that being white and rich precludes him from taking an interest in public schools. The people involved in Brown v. Board of Ed were not education insiders and specialists. And the Vergara plaintiffs’ previous case was a successful challenge of the California marriage ban.

    Welch is a highly intelligent, award-winning scientist/engineer, self-made man and Democrat who has employed thousands of people and helped drive American innovation – not a self-made race pimp.

    As far as your reference to model minority myths,there’s a reason why Asians dominate the UC admissions process and it isn’t based upon a myth as much as you’d like it to be since it doesn’t comport with your poverty rationale and puts responsibility upon culture and effort more than SES.

    It is well and good and right that people remember their roots and from where they hailed and that they give back to their old communities. You, OTOH, indulge yourself in your impoverished dream and hold it up as a badge of honor to engage in socialist fear-mongering or whatever one wants to call your ideological rantings.

  3. Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

    Interchangeable to a man (or woman), as district HR practices demonstrate, teachers are also a docile lot, as anemic salaries and rising workloads demonstrate. Rank-and-file teachers deserve a say in evaluation reform, but I don't see how to give it to them. Bargaining, important as it is, does not give young teachers much influence. Even if older teachers didn't dominate locals, the effort that would be wasted reinventing evaluation in each of the state's 1,000 districts … Read More

    Interchangeable to a man (or woman), as district HR practices demonstrate, teachers are also a docile lot, as anemic salaries and rising workloads demonstrate. Rank-and-file teachers deserve a say in evaluation reform, but I don’t see how to give it to them.

    Bargaining, important as it is, does not give young teachers much influence. Even if older teachers didn’t dominate locals, the effort that would be wasted reinventing evaluation in each of the state’s 1,000 districts makes me cringe. The criteria (CSTP) are standard, and their weights and application could be standardized. Fine to bargain over minor variations.

    Evaluation does affect older teachers, to be sure. I saw principals in my last district target high-salary teachers with bad evaluations. But if the principals had resorted to dismissal proceedings, the older teachers would still have enjoyed easy reemployment at high salaries, due to experience, or economic security, due to vested pensions.

    For a young teacher, an unfair evaluation spells unemployment. The evaluation might not offer suggestions for improvement, and the notice of non-reelection, possible during the teacher’s first 2+ years in a given district, is no-cause.

    The state funds most teacher preparation. It bears the cost of educating replacements when teachers exit the profession. The state has a financial interest in remediation/retention; it needs fair, informative evaluations.

    Districts save by getting rid of teachers, fast! Next year’s replacement will always be at least a year behind on the salary scale, for cumulative savings in the tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the position. Districts have a financial interest in attrition; they need arbitrary, opaque evaluations.

    Here again, the state must set the terms. If we reform evaluation, districts should not be allowed to create their own teacher evaluation systems.

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

      Paul: Here's a certainty for you: If you are currently a new, and presumably younger, teacher you can stick around for a while and voila, you become an older teacher. And it happens , subjectively, quicker than you think. And if you really think teachers are all "docile" you just haven't been around long enough. Re your assertions about younger teachers alleged lack of influence in union locals. Unions are democratic. Convince your colleagues that you have positions … Read More

      Paul:

      Here’s a certainty for you: If you are currently a new, and presumably younger, teacher you can stick around for a while and voila, you become an older teacher. And it happens , subjectively, quicker than you think.

      And if you really think teachers are all “docile” you just haven’t been around long enough.

      Re your assertions about younger teachers alleged lack of influence in union locals. Unions are democratic. Convince your colleagues that you have positions that make sense to them and get elected to the local executive board and you’ll get some influence. (Whining about the powerless of younger teachers is unlikely to win many supporters. Everybody was a new teacher once. You need to earn your “cred.”)

      Of course collective bargaining would be an important mechanism for districts and teachers (via their unions) as has been demonstrated in several districts mentioned above. One of the canards all too common about teachers is that they don’t feel a commitment to high professional performance and standards. That’s why you’ll see evaluation documents up and down the state that use the CSTPs in their evaluation documents as the criteria for evaluation. That was accomplished by management and unions working together. Most districts don’t have the resources to carry out the evaluation process appropriately, or maintain a PAR program, but that’s the state’s inability to fund schools and not the commitment of management, unions, and teachers.

      And then you say: “Evaluation does affect older teachers, to be sure. I saw principals in my last district target high-salary teachers with bad evaluations. But if the principals had resorted to dismissal proceedings, the older teachers would still have enjoyed easy reemployment at high salaries, due to experience, or economic security, due to vested pensions.”

      I have no idea what your second sentence means.

      • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

        Gary, telling young teachers to stick around until they too get pernanent status and high seniority is a great way to weed out the best, who have better economic alternatives. It's also a suicide wish during a school funding crisis like the one we witnessed in this state, 2008-2013. To districts' usual arsenal of illegal temporary contracts (automatic dismissal at the end of the year, sometimes year after year) and legal no-cause non-reelection during the … Read More

        Gary, telling young teachers to stick around until they too get pernanent status and high seniority is a great way to weed out the best, who have better economic alternatives. It’s also a suicide wish during a school funding crisis like the one we witnessed in this state, 2008-2013. To districts’ usual arsenal of illegal temporary contracts (automatic dismissal at the end of the year, sometimes year after year) and legal no-cause non-reelection during the first two probationary years in each district, were added layoffs in inverse order of seniority. Sticking it out meant repeatedly switching districts, schools, and grade levels or courses, not to mention working in dysfunctional settings because there were no other opportunities.

        You said it yourself: locals are democratic. As long as young teachers / new entrants are in the minority, they cannot win offices, or advance policies that would benefit them. If you wanted to involve the teachers with the biggest stake in evaluation reform, collective bargaining under the “50% + 1 vote” democratic control of a majority of teachers with permanent status and substantial seniority would be the worst way to do it.

        Older teachers have less of an interest in evaluation reform, since their positions are more secure, their pensions are vested, and even if the worst happened, they could transfer some of their years of experience to new districts to preserve their earning power. I don’t see anything unclear in the sentences you quoted. I saw principals target high-experience, high-salary teachers with bad evaluations. The principals could, on the basis of those evaluations, have launched dismissal proceedings against those teachers; PAR and dismissal were in fact threatened. Had the principals launched dismissal proceedings and prevailed, those teachers would still have been well-off. Either they would have exited teaching and begun drawing their vested pensions soon after, or they would have sought jobs with other school districts, where their experience would have given them an advantage in interviews, and some of it would have transferred to ensure high placement on the salary scale. A new teacher, when given a bad evaluation and/or no-cause non-reelection, is out of a job, with no pension and only limited prospects for employment in another district. This is why getting evaluation reform right is CRUCIAL for new teachers.

        You were not a new entrant to the profession during the worst recession since the Great Depression. You simply do not have that experience. You were nearing retirement or already retired! Neither you nor the union can speak for those of us who were new entrants during that time. The policies that you and your union advocate did in fact put us first in line for layoffs.

        CTA released a presentation called “Not When, But If”, about the US Supreme Court case that might end compulsory fair share dues. It’s telling that the union admits, at the end of the presentation, that it needs to work to understand the needs of young teachers, and then to convince them that it has their interests at heart.

        As for teachers’ docility,
        charting three decades’ worth of salary growth for teachers, nurses and police officers will give you all the proof you need. In the last district where I taught, my colleagues rejoiced over a 2% raise, their first in 5 years. They were so happy that they gave up their demand for an inflationary increase in the district’s health insurance contribution, a move which ate up the entire raise.

        I see, too, that you are silent on the waste of effort that would be involved in creating separate evaluation systems in over 1,000 school districts.

        • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

          “Not If, But When” is the union presentation title.

        • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

          Paul: You say: "I see, too, that you are silent on the waste of effort that would be involved in creating separate evaluation systems in over 1,000 school districts." Was there some "directive" issued that I missed that said I had to respond to that issue? I assume by that, though it's not clear what you mean, you are advocating for a "one size fits all" evaluation system that should emerge from the legislature, or CDE, or … Read More

          Paul:

          You say: “I see, too, that you are silent on the waste of effort that would be involved in creating separate evaluation systems in over 1,000 school districts.”

          Was there some “directive” issued that I missed that said I had to respond to that issue?

          I assume by that, though it’s not clear what you mean, you are advocating for a “one size fits all” evaluation system that should emerge from the legislature, or CDE, or where?

          I think I was clear that I think some “outline” of requirements should emerge from the state, with as few mandates as possible, and with the details to be done at the local district, at the table, where the needs of sites and the district within the fiscal limits of the local budget can best be addressed. As I said, it’s been done.

          So you don’t like democracy? New teachers are typically a minority. Yes. But the issues of layoffs and seniority are not collective bargaining issues. The minority status of new teachers has nothing to do with it. Those issues are determined by statute.

          BTW: The issue of doing things democratically, with a paper trail, is determined by labor law. It’s not something contrived by unions to disempower new teachers. We, that is the US, do have this commitment to democratic principles as a matter of history and tradition. On a yearly bases I often had two or three “new teachers” on my Executive Board who were elected by their sites because they were articulate and could carry the views of those they represented to the other site reps and officers.

          Here’s a hint: Statute says districts may only maintain as many temps in the district as they have permanent employees on leave. If you have evidence that districts may be abusing the temp situation ask your local union rep to give a “demand to bargain” on the issue and get it clarified. If there are problems, demand a grievance be filed (though statutory, personnel numbers and staffing ratios are collective bargaining issues). If the union won’t file, bring a “failure of fair representation” suit. But be very sure of your “numbers” first.

          As to older teachers having “less of an interest” in reform depends a lot on what you think of as reform. Older teachers have seen the onslaught of AYP, API, standards, accountability (for teachers but no other stakeholders), VAM, test abuse, NCLB, pacing guides, scripted curriculum, etc., etc. All of these have been falsely portrayed as “reforms.” If reform implies improvement then all of those initiatives weren’t. They did nothing for achievement and decreased learning.

          If the older teachers aren’t too interested in those “reforminess” initiatives it just shows the worth of older teachers who actually have learned through experience what classrooms, learning, and education are all about.

          You seem to have fallen prey to the current conventional wisdom [sic] that new teachers, by virtue of their being new, are somehow the “best.” No. No doubt many good young teachers were lost due to layoffs during the economic crisis, but that was due to CA’s chronically low school funding and the financial sector driven recession. Experience counts in teaching as it does in any other complex endeavor. Seniority is there for a good reason as you’ve said you’ve observed.

          MY 20 years experience as a local union officer and negotiator tells me older teachers are just as interested in quality evaluations as newer teachers. maybe more so as they have seen the consequences of a poor system.

          I think you need to decide if districts are more prone to giving “bad evaluations” to young teachers in order to non-reelect them or older, more expensive teachers, in order to save money.

          If you currently think teachers “vested in their pensions” retire or are dismissed and then become “well-off” think again. Perceptions of economic status are subjective and relative, but I know few retired teachers who consider themselves “well-off.” Incomes a little above or below $50K are not in the well-off category in CA unless you want to move to Modoc County.

          Let me tell you a little of my personal history. You’ll find it fascinating, I’m sure. I received my credential in the early 1970s, in the middle of the “Nixon recession” and in the middle of a significant decline in enrollment in CA schools. Many jobs were lost because of both factors. I personally knew teachers with up to 20 years of experience who were laid off as budgets were cut and districts consolidated.

          Upon being credentialed I subbed for around a year and then longterm-subbed for another semester. I then got a job “teaching,” that was funded by a federal jobs program, called CETA, as I recall, and under Nixon no less. The pay didn’t amount to much more than sub-pay, but it came with health benefits, sick leave, etc. that was important for someone with a young family. While I had that job I returned to SF State to get a Reading Specialist Credential to expand my employment possibilities. For most of these years there were almost no teaching jobs anywhere within commuting distance (and I mean DISTANCE). Finally, after around four years, I get a job, the new credential was crucial, and then received layoff notices ( pink slips being a folder of legal documents of some size) for the next two years in a row. I was rehired for the next year and next.

          You know, when you talk about teachers being “satisfied” with minimal increases in compensation you do them a disservice. Most teachers are very focused on their classrooms. They always expressed great thanks to me for representing them so that they could keep their focus on the classroom. They are not primarily interested in compensation issues. They are primarily interested in kids and teaching. But, if they feel they are being treated unfairly by local officials they can and will get up on their hind legs and decide to get aggressive. And they do that via their unions. Another reason the right-wingers and billionaires are out to get them in the legislature or the courts.

          Currently there are real chances for CA’s teachers to do something positive about compensation and make up for seven years of flat wages or even cuts (furloughs). Go back and read some of the reactionary comments about that in some of the posts on this site.

          I understand and appreciate the plight of any newer teacher trying to enter the profession in the last few years. Because of a variety of factors, union driven Prop 30 being a key one, conditions for employment are looking up in CA. It’ll be up to you to take advantage of it. Sounds like you move around a lot. You might look inside for some reasons for that instead of swing wildly about at other teachers, unions, and democracy.

          • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

            "Sounds like you move around a lot." Of course you would denigrate second-career teachers, and people who, not content with low pay, excessive work, lousy leadership, and ineffective unions, opted to exercise other economic options. The recession you experienced in the 1970s was minor by comparison to the one I experienced, your credential requirements were much less rigorous than today's, and your government-sponsored jobs program was insignificant in scope, compared to the federal bailout … Read More

            “Sounds like you move around a lot.” Of course you would denigrate second-career teachers, and people who, not content with low pay, excessive work, lousy leadership, and ineffective unions, opted to exercise other economic options.

            The recession you experienced in the 1970s was minor by comparison to the one I experienced, your credential requirements were much less rigorous than today’s, and your government-sponsored jobs program was insignificant in scope, compared to the federal bailout package that was necessary to keep new teachers like me employed — just barely, in temporary and part-time positions — in 2010 and 2011. When those funds were exhausted, we were left with nothing in 2012. As difficult as the 1970s were for you, the state did not experience such large percentage declines in the teacher workforce, let alone in credential program enrollment, as it has in the last ten years.

            Your remark about moving is very insulting, Gary. It has nothing to do with wanting to improve teacher evaluations, an issue that I contend is an issue for new and prospective educators.

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              Paul: So you haven't moved around a lot? I guess your constant references to "my last district" seemed to imply there had been a series of previous districts. No insult intended from this side. I will also suggest comments like "teachers are a docile lot" is far from a compliment in my book. You say: "Of course you would denigrate second-career teachers, and people who, not content with low pay, excessive work, lousy leadership, and ineffective unions, … Read More

              Paul:

              So you haven’t moved around a lot? I guess your constant references to “my last district” seemed to imply there had been a series of previous districts. No insult intended from this side.

              I will also suggest comments like “teachers are a docile lot” is far from a compliment in my book.

              You say: “Of course you would denigrate second-career teachers, and people who, not content with low pay, excessive work, lousy leadership, and ineffective unions, opted to exercise other economic options.”

              So, you’re a scene career teacher? How am I supposed to know that? And why would I denigrate them?

              As to low pay and “excessive work” (you should have known it’s hard work coming in, it’s integral to the profession), you are talking functions of CA’s execrable school funding. I suggest you close read “States in Motion” on this site to see why and how that’s the case. Hint: It relates to Prop 13 and the general anti-tax hysteria that has penetrated CA’s “conventional wisdom” for decades due to the work of right-wing think tanks [sic] and organizations.

              Lousy leadership? You cite what many new teachers say when they leave schools in disadvantaged communities. BTW, this is why these schools are more highly impacted by layoffs. There is a constant churn of personnel at those schools. That being said, you are talking a management problem. Take it up with them. Management has the capacity to initiate dismissal of teachers. Neither teachers, nor their unions, have statutory authority to dismiss “lousy” managers.

              To the extent the funding situation has improved for schools in CA much can be attributed to Prop 30, driven by (ineffective? Really?) unions, the Governor, and allied community groups. This is the first time in decades that the CA electorate has upended the anti-tax state milieu. Call that ineffective?

              .Your comments about the relative effects of the recessions of the 1970 and the 2008-10 era got me curious. So I moseyed around the net for a while and found the Forum on Economics that did some interesting comparisons. Based on the number of negative quarters of GDP growth, degree of decline in growth, and length of the recession the Forum developed a “Recession Severity Index.” looking at the four year recession of the 1970’s it had an index rating of 7.9. The two year recession of 2008-2010 had an index of 8.1. So, based on this analysis you were right that the latest recession was “worse” by a couple of ticks. We in the 70s did have to deal with the conditions longer. Coincidentally, or not, just about the length of time I was hunting a teaching job.

              I cannot find ready access to the declining enrollment data or district consolidation data of the same time period that exacerbated conditions in CA; however, I have not heard of any teacher not a victim of “skipping” with near 20 years of experience who was laid off in the last recession period. And, actually, there was a large decline in credential enrollment in that period.

              I don’t know what you base the statement “your credential requirements were much less rigorous than today’s” on. Mine was a Ryan Act Credential with single-subject and multiple subject categories much like today. The work of the CTC in upgrading credentials has been about having them reflect best current practice, not about rigor. If you look at the latest requirements for the Reading Specialist Programs you’ll find my name on it. There are certain other changes to the credential programs that may increase the time and number of units because of added subjects, like technology and dealing with autistic children, but that’s more, not more difficult. The changes, by the way, come from recommendations of a CTC work group, the Teacher Advisory Panel, or TAP. You’ll find my name there too. And all of above are related to reforms based on CDE’s roadmap for CA school reform “Greatness by Design.” Oh, yea, my names in the back. (By this time you’re probably saying to yourself, “Yikes! Does this guy get around or what?” Then again, probably not.)

              Do I take it, you’ve exercised other “economic options?”

              And everybody gets evaluated, why in the world would it be an exclusive topic for “new teachers” and/or those not even in the profession? Don’t follow the “logic” there.

  4. Robert D. Skeels * rdsathene 1 year ago1 year ago

    Too bad there was no effort to interview progressive organizations like Coalition for Educational Justice on this issue, as there are a wider range of ideas on this issue than portrayed here. Leave it to EdSource to make sure there's no shortage of opinions from the extreme-right in the form of Students Matter, Bill Lucia, and the Chamber of Commerce. Hope Senator Liu's leadership will prevail here. She's one of the few California legislators not beholden … Read More

    Too bad there was no effort to interview progressive organizations like Coalition for Educational Justice on this issue, as there are a wider range of ideas on this issue than portrayed here. Leave it to EdSource to make sure there’s no shortage of opinions from the extreme-right in the form of Students Matter, Bill Lucia, and the Chamber of Commerce.

    Hope Senator Liu’s leadership will prevail here. She’s one of the few California legislators not beholden to corporate interests, foundation dollars, or billionaire ideologues.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

      Coalition for Educational Justice cares more about Teacher Job Security than making tough decisions to close the achievement gap. Their contribution and quotes would have been typical union blabber, blame poverty, ignore those who overcome it, accuse anyone who criticizes the status quo as anti-teacher. It’s such a worse article without their contribution. NOT!

      • Robert D. Skeels * rdsathene 1 year ago1 year ago

        Perhaps you can orient the rest of us. Are you are saying grassroots community organizations have nothing of value to contribute to this issue, or worse, that they might be sympathetic to schoolchildren or those that teach them? On the other hand, are you are saying that corporate organizations (e.g. Students Matter), with million dollar budgets funded by ideologically charged billionaires, are somehow better equipped to address issues of which they have neither experience, nor … Read More

        Perhaps you can orient the rest of us. Are you are saying grassroots community organizations have nothing of value to contribute to this issue, or worse, that they might be sympathetic to schoolchildren or those that teach them? On the other hand, are you are saying that corporate organizations (e.g. Students Matter), with million dollar budgets funded by ideologically charged billionaires, are somehow better equipped to address issues of which they have neither experience, nor expertise–particularly, in your words, “overcoming” “poverty”?

        • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

          StudentsMatter is funded by a tech. billionaire. Tech workers are for the most part people who worked very hard in school, compared to the average American, and overcame poverty in India, China, Russia or other nations and came here. Asian Americans in poverty outperform white kids who are not in poverty in school. We need to study this. We can't just blame poverty. It's like Obama said, you're never so … Read More

          StudentsMatter is funded by a tech. billionaire. Tech workers are for the most part people who worked very hard in school, compared to the average American, and overcame poverty in India, China, Russia or other nations and came here. Asian Americans in poverty outperform white kids who are not in poverty in school. We need to study this. We can’t just blame poverty. It’s like Obama said, you’re never so poor you can watch TV and can’t possibly study with your kids. If they just blame everything on poverty they aren’t paying attention. It’s just not constructive to blame poverty. We’re never going to have a nation with no kids in poverty but we can be a nation with no kids who make very little effort in school and no kids who spend more time watching TV than studying. We just need good leadership and to address the issue honestly and aggressively.

          • Robert D. Skeels * rdsathene 1 year ago1 year ago

            How clever and sly of you to admit who Students Matter is funded by, and then find a way to deflect that conversation. Why not talk about David F. Welch: a wealthy white male born into privilege with every possible advantage? Why not discuss Welch's extreme-right political leanings, possible ties to the brothers Koch, and his strategic investments in networking infrastructure to "deliver" content to schools increasing coming under the corporate model? Instead you engage in … Read More

            How clever and sly of you to admit who Students Matter is funded by, and then find a way to deflect that conversation. Why not talk about David F. Welch: a wealthy white male born into privilege with every possible advantage? Why not discuss Welch’s extreme-right political leanings, possible ties to the brothers Koch, and his strategic investments in networking infrastructure to “deliver” content to schools increasing coming under the corporate model?

            Instead you engage in some polished victim blaming in the guise of model minority myths.

            As a person born into poverty (food stamps, welfare, hand-me-downs, etc.), who was also a tenth grade-drop out, and a poverty draft victim (USN), who would later complete community college (Alpha Gamma Sigma), graduated with a degree in Classical Civilization from UCLA (Golden Key Honor Society), and is currently a Juris Doctor candidate, I want to tell you that ONE NEVER OVERCOMES POVERTY. You can ameliorate the effects, you can even scrape out a better existence, but the damage done by our savagely inequitable socio-economic system never washes off. So much more so for persons of color and immigrants who experience the daily crush of racism.

            No amount of education can address oppression. To state otherwise is simply perpetuating the oppression.

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              How is it a myth? This is why we never advance in education, we call facts myths. Is it not true that the average Asian American in California studies 13.8 hours a week vs. 5.6 for whites, or that 60% enter Kindergarten prepared and reading/doing basic math vs. 16% of whites? Is it not true poor Asians do better in school than upper middle class whites? Is it not true that … Read More

              How is it a myth? This is why we never advance in education, we call facts myths. Is it not true that the average Asian American in California studies 13.8 hours a week vs. 5.6 for whites, or that 60% enter Kindergarten prepared and reading/doing basic math vs. 16% of whites? Is it not true poor Asians do better in school than upper middle class whites? Is it not true that individuals make choices in terms of read or study vs. watch TV or play games? Who cares if Welch is rich, there are hundreds of thousands of parents and children who are made miserable because a bad teacher isn’t fired and don’t have the spare money to all unify and fund a lawsuit like this. If it is automatically evil if a rich person does it, the union wins, no one will ever challenge the status quo in which days off for fun are acceptable and it’s virtually impossible to fire a bad teacher. Welch donated money to help the poor instead of spending it greedily. And he’s not connected to the Koch brothers and isn’t even a Republican. He met with principals and asked what would help them improve schools, planning to donate money, but they told them if they could control their workforce as a CEO could, they could do a better job educating poor students. Poverty is like a lot of things, some are stronger at overcoming it than others. It is no different from PTSD in wars, being abused or beaten as a child, being raped, being mugged, losing a job. Some are stronger and overcome it better than others. For some these things can ruin them forever and turn them into a drug addicted loser who makes excuses and complains for life. For some, they have strength to overcome them, go to night school, forswear drugs and alcohol, find ways to persevere and work hard. More kids will overcome poverty if they have good teachers, and that’s what Welch is trying to fix, to guarantee never again will a teacher take a day off with pay just because it’s in the contract and they feel like it without worrying about their boss’s reaction to it. Never again will a bad teacher last decades while not coming to back to school nights and having a horrible reputation. Never again will parents and children in public schools suffer bad teachers while the rich in private school can get those teachers fired within a month if there is just cause. He wants to equalize opportunity. There is no logic in denying good examples as myths. The book ‘The Triple Package’ proved it’s no fluke and no myth. Cubans, Lebanese, Persians, Jews, Asians, Nigerians, all do well by trying harder in school and studying more. It’s no myth. We need to hold kids who work hard in school up as examples and emulate them.

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              Robert, if poverty is the key factor, why do 47% of economically disadvantaged Asian kids in San Francisco score advanced or proficient in math, while only 25% of Latino and 24% of black students in SF who are not economically disadvantaged do so? Is it genetic? I don’t think so. Is it a result of more effort and focus on measurable scholastic achievement? I think so.

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              Those figures are for 7th grade, 2013.

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              Floyd, your numbers are way off. Provide a source.

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              Don, we just had a meeting on this tonight. Source: star.cde.ca.gov. I have all the stats. Call me and drop by and I'll show you the paperwork any time. Percent Advanced or Proficient in 7th Grade on STAR Test 2013, Math Portion Race Economically Disadvantaged Free/Reduced Lunch … Read More

              Don, we just had a meeting on this tonight. Source: star.cde.ca.gov. I have all the stats. Call me and drop by and I’ll show you the paperwork any time.

              Percent Advanced or Proficient in 7th Grade on STAR Test 2013, Math Portion

              Race Economically Disadvantaged Free/Reduced Lunch Not Economically Disadvantaged

              African American 5 23
              Hispanic 11 25
              White/non-Hispanic 24 57
              Asian 47 62

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              7th grade math prof rate for SES Asian at San Marino unified is 91%. For English its 100%.
              Those are actually higher than sfusd’s asian non SES scores.

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              Maybe you should spend more time learning how to read the CST results though it’s a bit late for that now. Select Ethnicity for economically disadvantaged and then select ethnicity.

              Disadvantaged African American, combined advanced and proficient in 7th grade math is 26%, Latino 38%, Asian 76%,and white 64%.

              You are underplaying your own case.

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              This proves poverty does not determine achievement as much as race and culture and focus. Those figures were advanced. 53% of non-economically disadvantaged African Americans in SF were advanced OR proficient. 80% of economically disadvantaged Asians were advanced or proficient. 64% of disadvantaged whites and 27% of advantaged Latinos. Basically, poor Asians destroy well of blacks and Latinos and statewide, whites. If you make education your highest priority, poverty … Read More

              This proves poverty does not determine achievement as much as race and culture and focus. Those figures were advanced. 53% of non-economically disadvantaged African Americans in SF were advanced OR proficient. 80% of economically disadvantaged Asians were advanced or proficient. 64% of disadvantaged whites and 27% of advantaged Latinos. Basically, poor Asians destroy well of blacks and Latinos and statewide, whites. If you make education your highest priority, poverty doesn’t last long and good things start to happen for you. Teachers would do well to convince the poor it can be done and hold up Asians as an example. Instead they found rare instances of Asian gangs and called it a myth. It’s not a myth, if it had been followed as fact in the ’80s instead of falsely relegated to being an alleged myth, African American and Latino achievement would be way higher now and poverty rates way lower.

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              Floyd,why do you insist on saying the same thing ad infinitum?

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              Don, it's a lot like the Thomas Mann book on paradigm shifts. No one wants to talk about the obvious solutions. Everyone pretends nothing can be done about poor students failing. Basically the union is suggesting socialism but that wouldn't even work, in my view. It just takes effort. In sales, if there is one person dominating the office, the boss points to that person. It should be the … Read More

              Don, it’s a lot like the Thomas Mann book on paradigm shifts. No one wants to talk about the obvious solutions. Everyone pretends nothing can be done about poor students failing. Basically the union is suggesting socialism but that wouldn’t even work, in my view. It just takes effort. In sales, if there is one person dominating the office, the boss points to that person. It should be the same with academics. If one group is excelling, teachers, parents and students need to see that as a role model, perhaps even a model minority. Organizing poor families entire lives in a macro sense around education, as Asian Americans do, will do more to increase academic achievement than if they have the perfect training for teachers, the perfect Common Core system or non-Common Core system, and the exact right funding. You focus on these things, if only there were more dollars here and less there, and they had organized the common core tests a different way and called it NCLB, it would all be fine. Changing home lives would do more than the difference between the perfect national standards and the one you criticize. In fact, if you were dictator of education starting tomorrow, you got to decide the curriculum, the spending, the testing standards, within the budgets we have, I doubt you could make as big an improvement for African American and Latino students as they could by following the Asian model. I doubt you will ever be happy with the testing system. It will always be a source of stress and anger for you. But for me, I am angry that so many people know what the right thing to do is with their kids and don’t bother so they can have an easier short-term life, destroying their children’s futures. Let’s agree on the model and emulate the model.

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              Navigio: Casual research into immigration studies show that, according to the Census Bureau, Asian immigrants are the wealthiest immigrant group in the history of the US. Further digging will show that even Asian immigrants who are deemed to be in poverty, usually by the relatively crude measure of Free and Reduced Lunch, have family backgrounds in their homelands that were middle class or better. That is to say that though Asians may seem to be in … Read More

              Navigio:

              Casual research into immigration studies show that, according to the Census Bureau, Asian immigrants are the wealthiest immigrant group in the history of the US. Further digging will show that even Asian immigrants who are deemed to be in poverty, usually by the relatively crude measure of Free and Reduced Lunch, have family backgrounds in their homelands that were middle class or better. That is to say that though Asians may seem to be in the same poverty categories as other minority groups that actually have attitudes toward education, what might be called middle-class values, that have been developed over generations. Then we certain Asian subgroups that came from poor, typically rural and agricultural backgrounds, that do perform as other high poverty minority (or White for that matter) groups do in educational endeavors. There is no country on Earth that is having high levels of educational success dealing with those high poverty and second-language groups. The secret sauce for those countries that seem to outperform the US in education is to provide seamless social service supports for children and parents and generally reduce poverty rates to sub-10% or even 5% as opposed to the US child poverty rate of 22%+.

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              Not sure why you directed that at me. That was actually one of the points of my comments.

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              Robert: I'm not up on Welch's background. But, I can say that students who grow up in a place like Ross or Kentfield in Marin County can attend public schools K-12 and lose not one bit of advantage over those who attend elite prep schools. So what kind of demographics characterize the public school and community which enabled Mr. Welch to go on to prestigious colleges? Who knows, maybe he's "self-made." But he's a gazzilionaire now … Read More

              Robert:

              I’m not up on Welch’s background. But, I can say that students who grow up in a place like Ross or Kentfield in Marin County can attend public schools K-12 and lose not one bit of advantage over those who attend elite prep schools. So what kind of demographics characterize the public school and community which enabled Mr. Welch to go on to prestigious colleges? Who knows, maybe he’s “self-made.” But he’s a gazzilionaire now and his ambitions seem to be to protect his dollars from the union efforts to insure he pays his fair share. I’m sure that Prop 30 was his worst nightmare. Which gives me sweet dreams.

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              Navigio:

              I believe you were commenting on Asian test score data? No? Just wanted to make some clarifying points about Asians who live, and don’t live, in affluent communities. I was not disagreeing with you, just trying to add context.

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              Floyd, if you cite bad statistics and then maintain they are correct only to find out later they were wrong, you should admit your mistake given that you were try to influence use falsely. Good thing I didn't bother to drop by so you could give me your bad data. I don't believe anything you have to say because you either don't back it up or your citation is incorrect as a rule. Then, to add … Read More

              Floyd, if you cite bad statistics and then maintain they are correct only to find out later they were wrong, you should admit your mistake given that you were try to influence use falsely. Good thing I didn’t bother to drop by so you could give me your bad data. I don’t believe anything you have to say because you either don’t back it up or your citation is incorrect as a rule.

              Then, to add insult to injury, you go on to cite more ethnic subgroup comparisons of test data switching categories from one to another which make no sense at all – except to you.

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              Don, I admitted my mistake and clarified it. It is pretty amazing that poor Asians outperform rich Latino and black kids. Gary says middle class values come in with these families as they are above average in their countries. Sure, this is true, but that shows your values matter. If blacks and Latinos and poor whites stayed married, worked hard and pushed their kids to care more about grades than TV/Games … Read More

              Don, I admitted my mistake and clarified it. It is pretty amazing that poor Asians outperform rich Latino and black kids. Gary says middle class values come in with these families as they are above average in their countries. Sure, this is true, but that shows your values matter. If blacks and Latinos and poor whites stayed married, worked hard and pushed their kids to care more about grades than TV/Games or fashion/flash, they would do better in school. Gary, how do you propose we break the cycle? And if we guaranteed no poverty, are you sure all the parents who work hard now for their kids would still work hard? Maybe some parents working two jobs would cut back to one and maybe some dads would leave so the moms would qualify for welfare money and then secretly live there, and this would cut our economic growth. Trust me, I’ve seen people who don’t respect education or push their kids to study hard make it into the upper middle class and their kids still didn’t go to college. Attitudes mean more than income.

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              'Poor' Asians also outperform 'rich' Asians if you pick the right dataset. Trying to pin this on culture leads to no policy changes. You can moan all day long about how horrible everyone else parents. It won't help. Look at the document I linked to. A quarter of new teachers in sfusd in poverty schools are new. Almost ten times the average in the state. Their adjusted salary is barely $50k. It's absurd to think … Read More

              ‘Poor’ Asians also outperform ‘rich’ Asians if you pick the right dataset. Trying to pin this on culture leads to no policy changes. You can moan all day long about how horrible everyone else parents. It won’t help.
              Look at the document I linked to. A quarter of new teachers in sfusd in poverty schools are new. Almost ten times the average in the state. Their adjusted salary is barely $50k. It’s absurd to think this has no impact on the learning environment.

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              Navigio, if you don't mind could you please tell me where you got that info regarding - "A quarter of new teachers in sfusd in poverty schools are new. Almost ten times the average in the state. - " I'm very much interested in this statistic as a SFUSD parent. Read More

              Navigio, if you don’t mind could you please tell me where you got that info regarding – “A quarter of new teachers in sfusd in poverty schools are new. Almost ten times the average in the state. – ”

              I’m very much interested in this statistic as a SFUSD parent.

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              The irrational labeling this over achievement a myth has done irreparable damage to generations of children. We were headed in the right direction holding up a positive model for children, but then it was labeled a model minority myth. It was never a myth, there are exceptions to every group's achievement. For instance Jews went from half being murdered over 6 years in the '40s and deep poverty to 180 of the … Read More

              The irrational labeling this over achievement a myth has done irreparable damage to generations of children. We were headed in the right direction holding up a positive model for children, but then it was labeled a model minority myth. It was never a myth, there are exceptions to every group’s achievement. For instance Jews went from half being murdered over 6 years in the ’40s and deep poverty to 180 of the 400 richest Americans in 2000, you could surely find a few criminals but as a group they vastly outperformed other immigrant groups from the same era such as Irish, Italians, Polish, Greek, etc. It wasn’t a myth, there is something in Asian culture which causes this. It isn’t money that makes Indian Americans win 10 spelling bees in a row, it’s incredible focus. Teachers set the tone for students. We as a society were so threatened by the idea there was a simple solution because we can all angle and maneuver and make money off complicated solutions. People also automatically defend their own culture, even if it’s proven wrong, which is why Jewish culture wasn’t embraced by other groups. It was too much of a threat to the status quo, it threatened the idea poverty was to blame. It was also a threat to the rich, who want their kids to dominate the top Universities without having to make the incredible and admiral sacrifices in time that Asian Americans make, so they treat low income Asians as the conservatives while rich whites born with a silver spoon in their mouth are presented as more liberal, as having better and more well rounded extracurricular activities which make up for grades. Asians are required to have 140 more SAT points than whites to make the IVY League yet have about 20% despite 6% in the population. 33.5 % make UCs vs. 8.7% of whites and fewer Latinos and African Americans, and that they do it in poverty shows it’s not so much income as culture and effort, meaning it is a model anyone could choose to follow to end the cycle of poverty in their family. Falsely declaring Asian American achievement a myth was a huge mistake America made in the ’80s. It was irrational and kept us firmly a majority caste society.

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              What attributing success solely to culture perpetuates is the belief that we can ignore whether we’re doing everything we can in schools. Cry as loudly as you want about bad parenting. It won’t reduce class sizes. In fact, it’s even likely to create policy that causes us to give up on these kids altogether. That’s dangerous.
              Don there’s a link above.

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              I agree with you Navigio, we should require tutoring for all kids not advanced or proficient starting in 2d grade and not promote kids who aren't at grade level. We should have Saturday tutoring and better teachers. We should have higher pay and stricter accountability where a maze of impossible requirements to fire a bad teacher is not referred to mildly as "due process". We need better instruction. However, requiring tutoring … Read More

              I agree with you Navigio, we should require tutoring for all kids not advanced or proficient starting in 2d grade and not promote kids who aren’t at grade level. We should have Saturday tutoring and better teachers. We should have higher pay and stricter accountability where a maze of impossible requirements to fire a bad teacher is not referred to mildly as “due process”. We need better instruction. However, requiring tutoring for those who are behind and providing good advice on home life would be a step in the right direction. Schools should be experts in educational achievement, like doctors are on health or dentists on oral hygiene. Too many teachers just encourage kids to study an hour a day and relax. That won’t cut it in this era. It’s too competitive. However, we have to be realistic. Many parents can’t be reached, but we can reach the kids and teach them better habits and focus and give a realistic outline on what it will take to succeed in school, how much effort, and where to get help. Schools have taught generations of children of smokers not to smoke, children of abstinence only type unrealistic parents who got pregnant how to have sex safely if they do, generations of racists to accept others and interracial dating, generations of homophobes to accept gay and lesbian people, and many other things. We need to now move on to habits and teach kids to have better academic habits than their parents did. Generations can improve. I just don’t like it when good examples are made out to be myths or worse yet, ridiculed, as the best students often are.

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              Navigio: Here is where we will disagree. Someone once said "education is weak treatment for the conditions of poverty." We keep enacting policy changes in schools over and over and keep expecting different outcomes. We don't do much with policy changes that might impact the conditions of poverty that kids live in. As I frequently state, and as the conservative commentators here frequently ignored, the US has nearly the highest percentage of kids living in poverty … Read More

              Navigio:

              Here is where we will disagree. Someone once said “education is weak treatment for the conditions of poverty.” We keep enacting policy changes in schools over and over and keep expecting different outcomes. We don’t do much with policy changes that might impact the conditions of poverty that kids live in. As I frequently state, and as the conservative commentators here frequently ignored, the US has nearly the highest percentage of kids living in poverty in the industrialized world. As the US is also the wealthiest nation in the world I assume the conservatives have to ignore it because there is absolutely no moral excuse for that situation. And not to lay the issue completely at the feet of conservatives as we as a nation seem to be OK with the idea that that many kids live in poverty. There are any number of other relatively wealthy nations that do enact policy changes to deal with poverty that we could use as a policy template, but some some historical linkage to our Puritan forebears seems to make us want to point fingers at the victims rather than alleviate the situation of the victims.

              As research by ETS, and many other legitimate education experts, have established schools account for about one-third of the variation in test scores nationally (aka, the “achievement gap). Focusing “policy changes” on the one-third influence and basically ignoring the two-thirds influences (aka, family and community and supports available there or not) leads to nothing but frustration and more aimless finger pointing. And then another cycle of policy changes at schools. This is akin to putting a bandaid on a blister on your foot, but not taking the rock out of your boot that is causing the blister.

              It should also be noted that of the one-third of school effects on achievement, teachers only account for one-third to one-half of those school effects. Policy changes (“accountability” based ion test scores for example) and legal attacks on teachers’ professional rights (Vergara for example), or attacks on teachers’ unions (Friedrichs) are by definition dead end efforts. Focusing on the 10% to 15% of teacher effects and ignoring the 90% to 85% of non-teacher effects is just another way of ignoring the poverty issue and distracting the public from policy changes like higher tax rates and closing tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy that will be necessary to do something about the real problems. The real problem is to remain safely out of sight behind the curtain. Teachers’ unions have been the “Toto” who have been nudging that curtain aside for some time now, hence the various attacks.

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              Navigio, thanks for the link.

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              You have to careful with that argument Gary. It's the same one that could be used to argue teachers are mostly irrelevant anyway so there would be minimal impact if we just cut their pay in half. Or even to cut funding to schools in general. And taking the rock out of your boot may also be futile if it's holes in your boot that causes them to repeatedly become filled with rocks. Our elem … Read More

              You have to careful with that argument Gary. It’s the same one that could be used to argue teachers are mostly irrelevant anyway so there would be minimal impact if we just cut their pay in half. Or even to cut funding to schools in general.
              And taking the rock out of your boot may also be futile if it’s holes in your boot that causes them to repeatedly become filled with rocks.
              Our elem school has no library. It has no computer lab. It has no science room. It wouldn’t have any art if parents didn’t raise money for that explicitly. It shares a pseudo-nurse and psychologist with a dozen other schools. A third of our kids are housed in 40 year old ‘temporary’ structures with no windows, regardless of studies that show those have reduced amounts of oxygen. Our middle schools have 1 counselor and almost lost their libraries this year. We pass construction bonds so that the community can run off with all the money while we reject meager parcel taxes because they would ‘only’ help students.
              Perhaps you believe there is nothing that could be done better in schools, but you’re right, I’d disagree with you. The fact that poverty is so much of the problem does not negate that we are still making mistakes elsewhere. And personally, I think schools that are appealing and can provide safety, health and happiness in addition to learning) are exactly one type of change that would greatly help some of our communities.

        • Robert D. Skeels * rdsathene 1 year ago1 year ago

          My favorite academics who frequently take umbrage with the "model minority myth" are Professor Wayne Au and Dr. Cynthia Liu. A number of their papers dispel the racist narrative that is being promulgated here. However, I can't wait to read Professor Jennifer Lee's newest book. Its byline states "Book co-authored by UCI sociologist debunks idea that Asian American academic achievement is due to unique cultural traits or values" http://news.uci.edu/features/declawing-the-tiger-mom/ Read More

          My favorite academics who frequently take umbrage with the “model minority myth” are Professor Wayne Au and Dr. Cynthia Liu. A number of their papers dispel the racist narrative that is being promulgated here. However, I can’t wait to read Professor Jennifer Lee’s newest book. Its byline states “Book co-authored by UCI sociologist debunks idea that Asian American academic achievement is due to unique cultural traits or values” http://news.uci.edu/features/declawing-the-tiger-mom/

          • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

            She's ignoring the fact that poor Asians without parents with degrees still do better than non-poor blacks or Latinos. I live in San Francisco and there is a cultural difference. There are good traits which could be emulated. It's not all just due to money. Money doesn't make you study all day Saturday in a library. I have cousins with money who do terrible in school. Money … Read More

            She’s ignoring the fact that poor Asians without parents with degrees still do better than non-poor blacks or Latinos. I live in San Francisco and there is a cultural difference. There are good traits which could be emulated. It’s not all just due to money. Money doesn’t make you study all day Saturday in a library. I have cousins with money who do terrible in school. Money helps largely because the Ivy League favors those with money by legacy, fame/celebrity, donor and elite private school pressure factors. In SAT Scores, you see the truth on this.

  5. SD Parent 1 year ago1 year ago

    I absolutely think that excellent teachers should be part of the development of any teacher evaluation system. But to relegate student achievement as part of teacher evaluation subject to negotiation all but guarantees that student achievement as measured by some standardized metric (that would allow comparisons and allow for meaningful improvement with a goal of quality teacher) will never happen. Experience demonstrates that "negotiation" is about all adult interests and rarely, if ever, … Read More

    I absolutely think that excellent teachers should be part of the development of any teacher evaluation system. But to relegate student achievement as part of teacher evaluation subject to negotiation all but guarantees that student achievement as measured by some standardized metric (that would allow comparisons and allow for meaningful improvement with a goal of quality teacher) will never happen. Experience demonstrates that “negotiation” is about all adult interests and rarely, if ever, does anything good for the students. In San Diego Unified, the educators’ union (SDEA) has all the power, regardless of whoever else is sitting at the table, and their interests always come first.

    For example, SDEA and the district just negotiated pay raises that will cost the district $62.6 million in 2015-16 and even more the following years, leaving the district with a $34.6 million deficit in 2016-17, a $94.7 million deficit in 2017-18, and a $119 million deficit in 208-19. What will the students get? K-3 class sizes of 1:24–oh, wait, that was state mandated (although the district technically could have bargained that away, as has occurred in other districts)–and “more enrichment time in elementary school” (a euphemism for increased prep time for elementary teachers, as there has been no talk about what the students will actually do during this “enrichment time”–all that it known is that it won’t extend the school day). Meanwhile, despite considerably increased amounts of LCFF funding in 2015-16, the district reduced by half schools’ “LCFF intervention funds”–the funds sent to school sites on behalf of their counts of low income, English learner, and foster youths at their campuses–and still has not restored the English Language Support Teachers that it forced schools to sacrifice in June 2014, when the district couldn’t balance its budget (and told every school site to eliminate 1 full-time equivalent). The EL community is up in arms, but they have no power to “negotiate” anything for these students that costs money, which essentially means that nothing will be done to remedy the situation. And given the monstrous deficits looming, it’s safe to say that the future for students looks bleak.

    The power of SDEA extends far beyond use of funding: if SDEA doesn’t like something, it doesn’t happen. For example, in a recent district committee set up to make testing recommendations, multiple principals and parents supported a specific standardized test (MAP test) used in other districts (including locally) to measure student learning, particularly to show a year’s worth of growth. The SDEA representative said that this test wasn’t acceptable, that he’d read a newspaper headline that said teachers didn’t like it, and that marked the end of consideration for that test.

    So if your listening, Sacramento, you don’t need to bolster teachers’ rights further. Their bargaining units already hold most of the power. Protect students success by ensuring that student achievement–the true goal that so many adults in education seem to forget–is part of what is considered when determining whether a teacher is successful in their profession.

    Replies

    • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

      Dear San Diego Parent, Well said. Your comments are very valued by myself, another parent. It seems that California's current situation of education is real bad, and it seems easy to understand how and why California is currently ranked 42nd in quality learning for children out of 50 states in our U.S.A. Your comments and data help others, and I wish to just thank you for taking time as a parent to post. We must thank EdSource for … Read More

      Dear San Diego Parent,

      Well said. Your comments are very valued by myself, another parent.

      It seems that California’s current situation of education is real bad, and it seems easy to understand how and why California is currently ranked 42nd in quality learning for children out of 50 states in our U.S.A.

      Your comments and data help others, and I wish to just thank you for taking time as a parent to post.

      We must thank EdSource for being a forum where parents and other stakeholders can at least post comments on what we believe our children are actually experiencing with regard to the quality of education.

      Say, did you find that your child got regressed in math (common core standards not covered well) in years 2013-2014 and2014-2015?

    • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

      So the cause of the deficit is those pay raises and not anything else in the over billion dollars of expenditures? Not saying the raises are appropriate, but there's a lot more going on than just that. Class sizes didnt need to go to 24 yet, so if you have that already its probably a good thing. Obviously it costs money though. Unfortunately, LCFF says nothing about what funds get sent directly to schools. This … Read More

      So the cause of the deficit is those pay raises and not anything else in the over billion dollars of expenditures? Not saying the raises are appropriate, but there’s a lot more going on than just that.
      Class sizes didnt need to go to 24 yet, so if you have that already its probably a good thing. Obviously it costs money though.
      Unfortunately, LCFF says nothing about what funds get sent directly to schools. This is something the board determines in the LCAP it approves. I agree this will be a point of contention in many distircts, however, I doubt the amount sent to schools is only half. Its instead more likely that what you mean is the amount of funds school sites have control over. For example, in the past a school might have gotten EIA funds which it used to pay for an LDRT. Now the district may just fund that ‘directly’, by not giving the school site any option. That resource is clearly ‘sent to schools’. It sounds like in your case they are not doing even this, and if so, that is admittedly a bad thing. However, DELAC is the only existing group in LCFF law that explicitly must be involved in the LCAP process. And the superintendent is required by law to respond to their requests/concerns in writing. You should check whether that is happening to an extent that is meaningful.
      Also, your board does not have to approve the contract. We elect board members. If they are not representing the community, make sure they get replaced.

    • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

      My district did the "enrichment" thing as well and of course you are correct it is very expensive negotiated prep time ( their was also a 7% raise across the board and class size reduction!) that landed us a negative budget certification. Here is a link to a 2012 LAO (Legislative Analyst) report on school district deficits and their primary causes. SD parent will recognize the primary cause to be negotiating unsustainable salaries … Read More

      My district did the “enrichment” thing as well and of course you are correct it is very expensive negotiated prep time ( their was also a 7% raise across the board and class size reduction!) that landed us a negative budget certification. Here is a link to a 2012 LAO (Legislative Analyst) report on school district deficits and their primary causes. SD parent will recognize the primary cause to be negotiating unsustainable salaries and benefits. The report also warns that districts that do not set aside a large enough buffer (and have declining enrollment) are the first to slide into deficit. Now, at the behest of the Unions, our esteemed legislature which seems to never read or take the word of the body established (LAO) to help them with such issues, passed a law that REQIRES districts to reduce (spend) their financial reserves. Its worth a read for those interested in attempting to navigate the legislative and bureaucratic labyrinth that is school finance in California.

      http://www.lao.ca.gov/reports/2012/edu/school-district-fiscal-oversight-and-intervention/school-district-fiscal-oversight-and-intervention-043012.pdf

      • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

        That is an odd report. 'Unsustainable' is inherently unsustainable. :-) Anyway, one important thing from this: a couple of the items are the disconnect between changes in funding and the obligations districts choose to make. Is this an explicit statement that state funding levels are overt messages about how districts should adjust their pay? When the state cuts 20% of funding in one year, are we supposed to then cut teacher pay by 20%? Personally, I've … Read More

        That is an odd report. ‘Unsustainable’ is inherently unsustainable. 🙂

        Anyway, one important thing from this: a couple of the items are the disconnect between changes in funding and the obligations districts choose to make. Is this an explicit statement that state funding levels are overt messages about how districts should adjust their pay? When the state cuts 20% of funding in one year, are we supposed to then cut teacher pay by 20%? Personally, I’ve always found it curious that negotiations are local while funding is state level. But I think it would make boards’ decisions a lot easier if they knew there were explicity priorities being communicated by state funding decisions. This is something we never talk about.

    • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

      SD parent: I don't suppose the fact that for the last ten years policies have been in place implementing " student achievement as measured by some standardized metric (that would allow comparisons and allow for meaningful improvement with a goal of quality teacher)" and has been a well documented failure. Isn't a decade long enough? Isn't there enough research showing standardized test scores should not be used for high stakes decisions about students let alone teachers? … Read More

      SD parent:

      I don’t suppose the fact that for the last ten years policies have been in place implementing ” student achievement as measured by some standardized metric (that would allow comparisons and allow for meaningful improvement with a goal of quality teacher)” and has been a well documented failure. Isn’t a decade long enough? Isn’t there enough research showing standardized test scores should not be used for high stakes decisions about students let alone teachers? Have you seen test driven “accountability” as implemented in the API/AYP drive any improvement anywhere? (The National Research Council hasn’t.) Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different outcomes is…let us say… inadvisable.

    • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

      I agree 100%. I have been a public school parent for 13 years and have NEVER heard teachers say we want to be included in figuring this out and then try to find a more accurate or scientific method for accurately judging teacher quality. It is sad but all they want to do is protect their status quo in which they don't have the same kind of stress and fear of losing their … Read More

      I agree 100%. I have been a public school parent for 13 years and have NEVER heard teachers say we want to be included in figuring this out and then try to find a more accurate or scientific method for accurately judging teacher quality. It is sad but all they want to do is protect their status quo in which they don’t have the same kind of stress and fear of losing their job most parents have, which drives us and makes us afraid to call in sick if we aren’t, not give full effort, etc. They inevitably only want to be included to protect their interest. If they did use their knowledge to come up with scientifically valid methods, their contribution would be very valuable, but I have been a sucker for that line “we just want our input included” for the last time, unless I see a good faith effort to put students first. I’ve never seen teachers willing to give up any iota of job security if it benefits children. I only see knee-jerk self-protection.

  6. Mark Beard 1 year ago1 year ago

    As a school administrator, I continue to pause, and sadly laugh, as I listen to people (Ann) discuss their “feelings” about the Common Core, instead of looking at the data. The data is clear from the universities and our top business leaders (see Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner) that 21st Century students need more than the basic skills of reading, math, and writing. Our students need the critical thinking skills that … Read More

    As a school administrator, I continue to pause, and sadly laugh, as I listen to people (Ann) discuss their “feelings” about the Common Core, instead of looking at the data. The data is clear from the universities and our top business leaders (see Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner) that 21st Century students need more than the basic skills of reading, math, and writing. Our students need the critical thinking skills that were NEVER explicitly called out in our past standards. We need to prepare students to be able to solve a range of intellectual and technical problems. So again, I laugh when I hear the word, “backsliding” in connection with what we are teaching our students. I want my students in sixth grade to know why a division fraction problem magically turns into a fraction multiplication problem in order to get the answer. We now teach the why, where before we just taught the how. These new standards cause students to answer the why question more than ever before. I want a new generation of thinkers, and I know that my students are going to be a part of that. No “backsliding” at my school Ann!

    Replies

    • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

      I am a school administrator as well. The "old" California math standards were comprehensive and balanced conceptual understanding, procedural skill, and fluency and application. If teachers weren't capable of teaching those world class standards, what makes anyone believe they will be able to decipher and apply these standards well in classrooms any time soon? We obviously, know it won't be soon as we have postponed our accountability system while we attempt to validate the … Read More

      I am a school administrator as well. The “old” California math standards were comprehensive and balanced conceptual understanding, procedural skill, and fluency and application. If teachers weren’t capable of teaching those world class standards, what makes anyone believe they will be able to decipher and apply these standards well in classrooms any time soon? We obviously, know it won’t be soon as we have postponed our accountability system while we attempt to validate the assessement, train the teachers and find decent curriculum! What we have today is the result of a confused roll out that has led to teachers, principals and district staff grasping for strategies and curriculum that are ….different. Yes, that is the most important thing as though mathematics has been so transformed that all the “old” ways are now obsolete. Even Jason Zimba, one of the primary authors of common core, is on record lamenting the the lousy roll out, poor curricular choices, lack of emphasis on math fluency and procedural skill, and the inability of the teachers to understand the standards themselves. “For anyone who isn’t a mathematician, it can be difficult to tell what’s genuinely aligned to the Common Core and what isn’t.”

      Zimba and his colleagues acknowledge better standards aren’t enough.

      “I used to think if you got the assessments right, it would virtually be enough,” he says. “In the No Child Left Behind world, everything follows from the test.” Now, he says, “I think it’s curriculum.”

      Any way you choose to view the Common Core adoption, its clear it wasn’t ready for prime time as I said in my previous post.

    • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

      Mr. 6th grade teacher named Mark.

      Did you use individual quizzes and individual tests, not take home, but tests in a quiet room with monitoring of no cheating?

      Did you cover all common core standards in…

      MATH
      .
      .
      SCIENCE
      .
      .
      HISTORY
      .
      .
      Or did you find that you honestly could not cover all math, science, and history mandated common core standards?
      .
      .
      To not answer with honest clarity only hurts your profession.

    • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

      Oh by the way, no need for the condescending remark about “feelings”. I am much more a person who relies on facts, data and outcomes.

      • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

        Good point Ms. Ann, mr. Beard was condescending to you by thinking you use "feelings" as a means of decision making. I am beginning to lose respect for teachers and administrators because testing (a form of data that does not involve feelings) is no longer being used to gauge if children understand mandated state standards, and ... The california department of education and the state board of education seems to wish for "feelings" instead of testing ( … Read More

        Good point Ms. Ann, mr. Beard was condescending to you by thinking you use “feelings” as a means of decision making.

        I am beginning to lose respect for teachers and administrators because testing (a form of data that does not involve feelings) is no longer being used to gauge if children understand mandated state standards, and …

        The california department of education and the state board of education seems to wish for “feelings” instead of testing ( individual testing) to be the new California approved method of checking for mastery of understanding for all subjects in schools.

        Thisvis currently causing damage in the learning for all children in California in my opinion, and it is primarily due to data not being wanted (collected) nor a desire for it’s use.

        Ms. Ann, you use data in your comments and I respect you for that.

        You must also be aware that people such as myself and you are growing tired of dialogue where illogical things are done by the CDE and sbe and administrators and teachers, so, in time we will just offer silence and tutor our children at home the best we can.

      • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

        Ann: Every once in a while you should let your thoughts wander over to the teachers and the children who are central to the educational endeavor. They are people not easily captured in all of their individual facets by " facts, data and outcomes." This failure, to look at the very human side of education, is the fundamental reason that last iteration of standards and test driven accountability were such a well document failure. Time for … Read More

        Ann:

        Every once in a while you should let your thoughts wander over to the teachers and the children who are central to the educational endeavor. They are people not easily captured in all of their individual facets by ” facts, data and outcomes.” This failure, to look at the very human side of education, is the fundamental reason that last iteration of standards and test driven accountability were such a well document failure. Time for many to pull their heads out of their ideology and look around to see how the world, and schools, actually work. Just saying.

        • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

          We’re talking about how to ensure students are given the best opportunity to learn that we can muster. I can empathize, sympathize, like, engage, listen to, laugh with; care for students (and I do) without losing sight of the purpose of my job.

  7. Bill Beecher 1 year ago1 year ago

    The proposed legislation misses the reality in most school districts. The financial down term meant significant cuts in administration, especially assistant principals. There were very little down sizing of teachers. This has created an unworkable review system; expecting principals to handle the whole review cycle while being expected to administer to a large staff. Teachers with performance issues require an inordinate amount of time. There is the initial evluation, the need to create a performance improvement … Read More

    The proposed legislation misses the reality in most school districts. The financial down term meant significant cuts in administration, especially assistant principals. There were very little down sizing of teachers. This has created an unworkable review system; expecting principals to handle the whole review cycle while being expected to administer to a large staff.

    Teachers with performance issues require an inordinate amount of time. There is the initial evluation, the need to create a performance improvement plan, regular meetings to monitor and give feedback to the teacher, the next stage when performnce does not improve, and so on.

    If you interview principals, which I have done, they will tell you that they are lucky to have the time to deal with just one poor performing teacher a year. Secondly, the traditional method of class room review is problematic because the teacher is on display and is on best behavior. Video taping and peer review may be better.

    The use of state scores has some possibilities when relative change is used versus the use of absolute scores. If students, on average, slip from one grade to another, then that is indicative of a teacher that is struggling.

    This having been said, the first obligation is for management is to provide a good working environment, is to provide assistance for struggling teachers, and to act decisively when teachers are unable to work out of their performance issues. Poorly performing teachers harm our students as well as make the receiving teacher’s job that much harder.

    Bill Beecher

    Replies

    • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

      Bill, I like the balance in your post. Most politicians, district leaders, and parents seem to favor summary dismissal, without admitting (a) that the supply of replacement teachers is finite and that there is no guarantee that a replacement will perform better than a departing teacher and (b) that teachers become effective over time, with the support of peers, supervisors, and exceptional teacher educators. (By exceptional, I do not mean the run-of-the-mill college of ed. … Read More

      Bill, I like the balance in your post. Most politicians, district leaders, and parents seem to favor summary dismissal, without admitting (a) that the supply of replacement teachers is finite and that there is no guarantee that a replacement will perform better than a departing teacher and (b) that teachers become effective over time, with the support of peers, supervisors, and exceptional teacher educators. (By exceptional, I do not mean the run-of-the-mill college of ed. professor who hasn’t darkened the door of a K-12 classroom in a decade.) One study found that teacher effectiveness rises with experience through Year 5, after which there is a plateau and further experience is much less significant.

      You are wrong, however, when you say that there were greater cuts among administrators than among classroom teachers.

      Virtually all districts that participated in Morgan-Hart 9th-Grade Academic Class Size Reduction immediately flexed those funds, taking Algebra I class size from 20 to 32-36 students. You can do the math to find the percentage reduction in math teaching positions.

      Repudiation of K-3 CSR took a year or two longer, but many more districts had participated in that program and many more classrooms were affected, due to its scope (100% of the school day for up to four grades, versus 17-33% of the school day for one grade, in the Morgan-Hart program).

      One district I know of eliminated a fifth of its elementary teacher workforce (80 of 400 positions) in one year, as primary classes swelled from 20 to 30 students.

      These teacher cuts were not accompanied by cuts in administration. The typical elementary school did not have an assistant principal in the first place, and the loss of algebra teachers was not great enough to justify reducing assistant principals in the typical high school. Moreover, school enrollment, to which administrator staffing ratios are applied, was unaffected by teacher cuts.

      As you know, K-3 CSR has returned in toothless form in LCFF, and the new target is 24 instead of 20. There is no provision for 9th-grade CSR. Thus, most of the class size-related teacher job cuts sustained between 2008 and 2013 are permanent.

  8. Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

    It is quite plain that it is more than possible for districts, if they have informed leadership that doesn't embrace top-down control as a fetish (shout out to Chris Steinhauser) , to negotiate rigorous evaluation procedures with the teachers who have a mutual commitment to improving classroom instruction. It's been done. Based on the fact that it's been done, the usual suspects, the Chamber of Commerce (education "experts" to a man) and EdVoice (did I hear … Read More

    It is quite plain that it is more than possible for districts, if they have informed leadership that doesn’t embrace top-down control as a fetish (shout out to Chris Steinhauser) , to negotiate rigorous evaluation procedures with the teachers who have a mutual commitment to improving classroom instruction. It’s been done.

    Based on the fact that it’s been done, the usual suspects, the Chamber of Commerce (education “experts” to a man) and EdVoice (did I hear the edvoice of the charter management industry speaking in tongues?), oppose it. For one thing the last kind of evaluation system they want to see is one that supports teachers, results in improved instruction, and avoids conflict with the teachers. With something like that in place how do you hammer the teachers, unions, and schools for crying out loud? What’s education supposed to be all about?

    Then we have the schools boards and administrators. What else is there to talk about except a fetish for top-down control?

  9. Ridgeley 1 year ago1 year ago

    Teachers are the ones in the classroom, we need to be part of the team that decides what is important in an evaluation. Over and over, teachers are left out of every decision that affects teaching and learning. School board members don’t teach, very often haven’t ever taught. Admin, and definitely non-school site admin, often have very little teaching experience.

    In any business, the best run companies are those who seek input and respect input from all members.

    Replies

    • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

      Yes, you are correct, teachers and teacher unions need to buy in on things, and teachers are often quiet on everything,all things, except….

      .
      .
      .
      .$$$$$$$$$$$
      .
      .
      .
      For salary increase talks.
      .
      .
      .
      .How about at all schools,if teachers,demand to have VOICE in things such as what products are purchased for teaching…
      .
      .
      .
      Though this is crafted into,Ed,code, often teachers truly,,and parents,truly, are not part of meaningful shared power in decision making, and VOICED CONCERNS are evaporated by generic school board minutes.

      • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

        What, exactly, are you talking about?

        • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

          Gary, in keeping with how people (students) are asked to learn, rather than explain my comment you are having trouble comprehending, I want to coax the understanding out of your current mindset, and also not rob you of your daily “ah ha” moment of grasping things on your own, so if you still have trouble, re-read and if still struggling ask an elbow partner.

          • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

            Gary isn’t the only one who is wondering what you are talking about.

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              PNO has a great point. Based on track record it is just very hard to imagine giving teachers some input, which sounds like a mild, reasonable request on the surface, ending up amounting to anything other than automatically trying to make a satisfactory rating as meaningless as a high school diploma. I imagine them counting those unsatisfactory and trying to reduce it. I'd love to see a 1-100 rating and metrics done … Read More

              PNO has a great point. Based on track record it is just very hard to imagine giving teachers some input, which sounds like a mild, reasonable request on the surface, ending up amounting to anything other than automatically trying to make a satisfactory rating as meaningless as a high school diploma. I imagine them counting those unsatisfactory and trying to reduce it. I’d love to see a 1-100 rating and metrics done on how well we can predict future years’ results, and it would be really interesting to see if teachers who move to new and very demographically different schools can have their results predicted. If you could prove teachers make a difference and results can be predicted, that is a great argument for skill/results based pay rather than seniority based pay. I personally don’t trust the union to just try to simply add a voice to help the results be more accurate, not after they’ve tried to block any and all judgment of their ability and all publicizing of test results. Every test result which is delayed is met by wild cheers from the Garys of the world.

            • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

              To Mr. Floyd, I agree with you about the striving by district officials and some teachers for less accountability. I ask, why are parent results of SmarterBalance\CAASPP tests delayed?, when school districts get results earlier, and, will parents be privy to school wide SmarterBalance/CAASPP testing for year 2014-2015, and if not doesn't by not revealing the school wide and grade wide results rob parents of transparency of comparison of schools and yet gives school districts info. And … Read More

              To Mr. Floyd,

              I agree with you about the striving by district officials and some teachers for less accountability.

              I ask, why are parent results of SmarterBalance\CAASPP tests delayed?, when school districts get results earlier, and, will parents be privy to school wide SmarterBalance/CAASPP testing for year 2014-2015, and if not doesn’t by not revealing the school wide and grade wide results rob parents of transparency of comparison of schools and yet gives school districts info. And isn’t that going against the mission statement of the CDE and SBE and the LCAP mandated state priorities?

          • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

            Parent News {sic}:

            OK. If I scramble around in your word salad I kind of pick up a hint that you are aware that collective bargaining law, include the areas of “wages, hours, and working conditions.” So teachers being involved in “salary increase talks” (a bit of awkward phrasing) is entirely appropriate. So?

    • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

      I wouldn’t say that teachers are left out of the process in general, Rigdeley. At present unions rules cover so many aspects of what can and cannot happen at a school it is the primary bottleneck when changes are proposed. And by the way, teachers were left out entirely from the Common Core development process, but it seems that the CTA has bought in fully.

      • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

        When pro-union teachers criticize metrics for complex intellectual reasons, it inevitably turns out they support seniority, which is less accurate by far, and don't believe there's much difference. If teachers wanted to contribute scientifically to a system to most accurately determine value add, they could be a good part of it, but their instinct is to make things so muddled and bureaucratic that the evaluations will become meaningless. I'm just waiting to hear … Read More

        When pro-union teachers criticize metrics for complex intellectual reasons, it inevitably turns out they support seniority, which is less accurate by far, and don’t believe there’s much difference. If teachers wanted to contribute scientifically to a system to most accurately determine value add, they could be a good part of it, but their instinct is to make things so muddled and bureaucratic that the evaluations will become meaningless. I’m just waiting to hear what they propose. I’m sure it will not be a scientific method. I’m sure it will be something to make the evaluations less meaningful. They have so many rules in place that reforms have faltered due to this. Their method of argument is so automatic, such as all charters are bad, no good teachers stay on the job, no one lies and takes a day off, the cause of bad education is always poverty never bad teachers, etc.The union has a bad reputation because of this automatic way of thinking. Now they are saying they want “input” but really they secretly want to undermine the whole thing. They don’t agree with the fundamental precept that some teachers are significantly better than others and that makes a huge different in students’ futures.

    • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

      They may seek input but they base the need for improvement on output.

  10. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    If evaluations procedures without strict statewide legal parameters were determined at the local level in collaboration with unions via collective bargaining, LEAs would be more likely to agree to lower performance standards to keep the job pool filled and wages low. It would be a race to the bottom and would play right into the hands of the unions. Conversely, if LEAs drove a hard bargain with unions, they could call their bluff and have … Read More

    If evaluations procedures without strict statewide legal parameters were determined at the local level in collaboration with unions via collective bargaining, LEAs would be more likely to agree to lower performance standards to keep the job pool filled and wages low. It would be a race to the bottom and would play right into the hands of the unions. Conversely, if LEAs drove a hard bargain with unions, they could call their bluff and have reasonable but rigorous job standards. Unions couldn’t blame admin for failing to go through the motions on evaluations and admin couldn’t blame unions for drawing out the process – assuming a more reasonable less costly due process regimen was put in place in a post-Vergara setting.

  11. Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

    The C.D.E.,I believe is not embracing that the SmarterBalance/CAASPP test is going to be used this year for any school or district evaluation strength. It is in my opinion an experiment. Thus, how could a state approved test be used to judge teacher skill? I think that a majority of mandated new common core standards were not taught well,or if at all in the majority of all California schools in year 2014-2015...so teacher evaluation all needs … Read More

    The C.D.E.,I believe is not embracing that the SmarterBalance/CAASPP test is going to be used this year for any school or district evaluation strength. It is in my opinion an experiment.

    Thus, how could a state approved test be used to judge teacher skill?

    I think that a majority of mandated new common core standards were not taught well,or if at all in the majority of all California schools in year 2014-2015…so teacher evaluation all needs to be put on hold…and the experiment approved by the State Board of Education and the California Department of Education wiil play out with no more high school exit exams till say…year 2019, and perhaps math knowledge will regress for low income, second language learners since no current accountability of testing is scheduled nor embraced by burecratic leaders.

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 1 year ago1 year ago

      Parent:
      The effective date of both bills would be July 1, 2018 (presumably a year later if passage were delayed for a year). That would give districts/unions two years to negotiate new agreements. By then, there would be three years’ worth of Smarter Balanced test results. But again, how those results are used and how much weight they should be given would be up to each district/union to determine.

      • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

        And, assuming VAM is used, multiple years of data is required for it to do whatever it is that it does.

      • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

        With all due respect, John. Real academic accountability has been or is being dismantled from the state level down under this Board, Superintendent and Governor, the actual reason California teachers haven't rebelled against the new standards as has happened in other states. Without appropriate accountability, Common Core has simply become a vogue word. The constant refrain that CC is so 'different' and 'new and requires so much additional time and training is simply a … Read More

        With all due respect, John. Real academic accountability has been or is being dismantled from the state level down under this Board, Superintendent and Governor, the actual reason California teachers haven’t rebelled against the new standards as has happened in other states. Without appropriate accountability, Common Core has simply become a vogue word. The constant refrain that CC is so ‘different’ and ‘new and requires so much additional time and training is simply a cover for a new system that has already expanded into a ed speak behemoth of buzz words, soft trainings and lax curriculum. Sadly it provides cover for those who still believe and advocate that all learning is discovery. I shudder to think the cost to this generation of this backsliding. Of course the Democrats will work hard to accommodate the unions and assure teachers that if and when the SBAC scores do become valid and reliable they won’t be on the hook for student failure.

        • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

          Ann, you are brilliant in how you expressed what is going on. In a personal experience that has happened to me as a parent, when any parent makes appointment with teacher to express concerns of learning progress, it is my opinion teachers go quickly to a defensive posture and say, " we'll, maybe you and your child would be happier in another classroom, and principals, in my opinion have the same mindset. It is so very bad … Read More

          Ann, you are brilliant in how you expressed what is going on.

          In a personal experience that has happened to me as a parent, when any parent makes appointment with teacher to express concerns of learning progress, it is my opinion teachers go quickly to a defensive posture and say, ” we’ll, maybe you and your child would be happier in another classroom, and principals, in my opinion have the same mindset.

          It is so very bad in math, in my opinion, because, no testing, very little, many math workbooks not used all year, instead a sort of cult like mindset is taking place with use of subjective group project based learning grades. The S.B.E. and the C. D.E. are experimenting in allowing no testing such as the star test, in that the SmarterBalance/CAASPP is also not used for measuring teacher or school quality.

          What should occur is what is mandated for special Ed, some kind of simple general mastery test, not SmarterBalance, but a simple mastery test so at least teachers will cover the key common core standards in math, social studies and science.

          But, for now, no teacher can be reviewed due to the SmarterBalanceCAASPPnot being considered accurate. It is all a very expensive experiment and graDe inflation, in my opinion is now what california traditional public schools are producing with billions going into teaching teachers, when it all could be done (majority of training in experimental common core philosophies) on line.

          Who is backsliding in math, science,mand history knowledge, who is regressing…THE CHILDREN, thus we in California must tie in teacher reviews to individual (not PBL group grades) student quizzes and tests.

          • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

            Also, if students do well in individual mastery of math it will be due in my opinion to parent paid outside for profit tutoring companies such as Kunon or Sylvan or mom and dad or grandparents helping teach...The C.D.C. Is not measuring if teachers are covering all common core standards well. There is a new montra for common core..."we are not going to teach a mile wide and an inch deep," but the … Read More

            Also, if students do well in individual mastery of math it will be due in my opinion to parent paid outside for profit tutoring companies such as Kunon or Sylvan or mom and dad or grandparents helping teach…The C.D.C. Is not measuring if teachers are covering all common core standards well.

            There is a new montra for common core…”we are not going to teach a mile wide and an inch deep,” but the new thinking seems to be, “we will teach an inch wide and four miles deep, and have shortened work days too.”

            The wealthy parents will help their children to succeed and low income children will, in my opinion, generally regress to not get good jobs.

            • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

              Arithmetic and procedures, which are what tutoring centers like Kumon teach and family members educated in past years are most likely to know, will get kids great scores on college admissions tests. I suppose that is all they need. With that kind of math education, most will have neither the desire nor the critical thinking skills to incorporate math into their daily lives (using knowledge of statistics to judge survey results published in a newspaper; … Read More

              Arithmetic and procedures, which are what tutoring centers like Kumon teach and family members educated in past years are most likely to know, will get kids great scores on college admissions tests. I suppose that is all they need. With that kind of math education, most will have neither the desire nor the critical thinking skills to incorporate math into their daily lives (using knowledge of statistics to judge survey results published in a newspaper; making an investment decision on the basis of Net Present Value; or using math to model a problem at work).

              The ramp-up of Common Core testing in no way interferes with evaluating teachers.

              Issues not obvious to you as parent — issues that go beyond whether the classroom is quiet, whether all the children get A’s, and whether teacher does whatever you ask — go into evaluations. This is why California law requires professionals (holders of Administrative Services credentials, i.e., principals/VPs) to do teacher evaluations. Charter schools are of course exempt. Charter principals need not have teaching or administrative experience or training, there are no laws regarding charter teacher evaluation, and all the teachers (not just those in their first 2+ years with a given school district) can be dismissed without cause.

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              Well now that’s interesting. If high scorers are actually the result of outside-of-school services, test results then clearly say nothing about how teachers are doing comparative to each other. Odd you’d want to use them to determine that nonetheless.

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              Good teachers advise parents to prioritize Kumon, reading, tutoring, etc. over other time and monetary choices. A good teacher will say to parents, instead of that trip or new TV or fancy clothes or new car, your child will make more money in the long run if you use Kumon or Sylvan or hiring a tutor, buying books, for your kids. Instead of watching TV with them, read novels with them. Just … Read More

              Good teachers advise parents to prioritize Kumon, reading, tutoring, etc. over other time and monetary choices. A good teacher will say to parents, instead of that trip or new TV or fancy clothes or new car, your child will make more money in the long run if you use Kumon or Sylvan or hiring a tutor, buying books, for your kids. Instead of watching TV with them, read novels with them. Just like doctors give advice as to diet and maintenance of long term health, teachers spend decades seeing why some kids in their class have bright futures and others have very low skill levels, why some will make 100-200k and others will be on minimum wage based on their academic skill level, and this is predictable at age 9 but somewhat before that. Kumon use is related to teachers taking the time and effort to sell and convince parents that their expenditures and choice of spare time usage play a crucial role in how successful their children will turn out. Some teachers do a far better job of that than others. Who knows more what parenting works best than teachers? Providing and pitching this is part of the job. Kumon usage is a sign of teachers convincing parents to properly prioritize.

            • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

              Hey Paul just so you know, " (using knowledge of statistics to judge survey results published in a newspaper; making an investment decision on the basis of Net Present Value; or using math to model a problem at work)..." all require intellectual curiosity AND knowledge of math fluency and procedural skills and would be a horrendous burden for anyone not fluent in mathematics. Remember, Grasshopper, He who learns but does not think, is lost! … Read More

              Hey Paul just so you know, ” (using knowledge of statistics to judge survey results published in a newspaper; making an investment decision on the basis of Net Present Value; or using math to model a problem at work)…” all require intellectual curiosity AND knowledge of math fluency and procedural skills and would be a horrendous burden for anyone not fluent in mathematics. Remember, Grasshopper, He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.

            • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

              Paul, are you a teacher? If so, do you think math is regressing in the majority of all California classrooms, especially in the elementary level?

            • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

              Ann, re: "Just so you know", thanks for letting me know that students need to be fluent in math. That had never occurred to me! (exasperated sigh) In addition to the preparation required for a Single Subject Math credential (and a Multiple Subjects, i.e., elementary-grades, credential, which I have too), I trained independently with the best: the Silicon Valley Math Project. I also spent time analyzing and commenting (here) about classroom and statewide math testing, … Read More

              Ann, re: “Just so you know”, thanks for letting me know that students need to be fluent in math. That had never occurred to me! (exasperated sigh) In addition to the preparation required for a Single Subject Math credential (and a Multiple Subjects, i.e., elementary-grades, credential, which I have too), I trained independently with the best: the Silicon Valley Math Project. I also spent time analyzing and commenting (here) about classroom and statewide math testing, algebra readiness, and other math ed. topics.

              The old math framework required me to emphasize and test fluency. The Common Core does too, but it adds habits of thought that students (and teachers, many of whom don’t have the university-level math training that I do) should begin to use when doing math.

              Even if we limit ourselves to a fluency issue like subtraction, the old approach, still used by a many teachers, in many textbooks, and in tutoring centers like Kumon, is to teach the standard algorithm that you and I learned decades ago. It’s a terrible choice, because it goes from right to left, not giving an initial sense of the magnitude of the minuend and subtrahend nor an expectation (for self-correction) of the magnitude of the difference. It also requires slavish attention to borrowing. A good Common Core teacher would introduce several algorithms. Each student would choose the algorithm that made sense to, and was efficient for, her. Look up Ruth Parker for details.

              Parent News, this subtraction example should show that math instruction is becoming more, not less, effective.

              I can safely say that I insisted on fluency-plus, given that a boy in one of the last classes I taught interrupted me as we were working a problem like 1000-783 on the board and asked, “Why not do 999-783 and add 1 back later?” (I knew him as a 6th-grader. He graduated from middle school last month. I went back for the graduation, and had a nice chat with his mom, as it happened.)

              People like you, who insist you know my job better than I do, and who want math ed. reduced to computation, are an aspect of public education that I don’t miss, now that I’m back in my computer science career.

            • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

              So Paul, you were maybe asked to not teach math to any students, because, let me guess, you were teaching esoteric three digit subtraction one centimeter wide and 5,000 meters deep, and I sure hope you see the disastrous results of your teaching methods by reviewing the math decline in your school with the SmarterBalance/CAASPP experimental State test. The thing is, you left math and now scan computers on a computer lab, so, I guess you … Read More

              So Paul, you were maybe asked to not teach math to any students, because, let me guess, you were teaching esoteric three digit subtraction one centimeter wide and 5,000 meters deep, and I sure hope you see the disastrous results of your teaching methods by reviewing the math decline in your school with the SmarterBalance/CAASPP experimental State test.

              The thing is, you left math and now scan computers on a computer lab, so, I guess you embrace Minecraft for middle schoolers.

              The traditional algorithms for math are part of the common core, and to teach vast ways of getting wrong answers increases a dumbed down approach to math,Math is why math books such as GO MATH does teach in the common core textbook the traditional algorithm.

              I am glad you no longer teach math because your Hippy math approaches, I hypothesize, did not allow you to give quizzes, tests, and to cover properly 50% of all common core math mandated common core standards.

              Solution:

              ALL PARENTS WILL NOW DOWNLOAD STATE MANDATED COMMON CORE MATH STANDARDS AND ENSURE ALL MATH COMMON CORE STANDARDS ARE COVERED ! AND THE C.D.E. MAY MANDATE PARENT AND STUDENT CURRICULUM MAPS OF ALL SUBJECTS FOR EACH YEAR, and I know the CDE has no authority over L.E.A (local school districts) but maybe the CDE and sbe will do firm oversight if math learning is “backsliding” so very very bad because of esoteric , student head scratching teachers, who do not use quizzes or tests to formulate grades and push such students forward into the next grade level without the proper prior mastery of the mandated common core standards, but you are a computer lab monitor so …

        • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

          Ann: Actually, according to solid research, it was the last "germination" that suffered from backsliding. The test based accountability driven by certain states (CA included) and NCLB was all a failed 'experiment." There was never a shred of evidence to support the test, or stands for that matter, "system." Ten years of data showed "test based achievement," what the advocates claimed was the Holy Grail of school reform, did not improve and learning, as defined by … Read More

          Ann:

          Actually, according to solid research, it was the last “germination” that suffered from backsliding. The test based accountability driven by certain states (CA included) and NCLB was all a failed ‘experiment.” There was never a shred of evidence to support the test, or stands for that matter, “system.” Ten years of data showed “test based achievement,” what the advocates claimed was the Holy Grail of school reform, did not improve and learning, as defined by the teaching of a well balanced curriculum, suffered because of a narrowed curriculum. Narrowed because the testing emphasis was almost exclusively on math and ELA.

          Should we move forward [sic] with another decade of same old same old? Remember the description of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different outcomes?

          • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

            Gary, actually that is incorrect. The STAR showed much improvement to a certain point and I would argue that if our educational community had embraced teaching and learning our superior state standards (nothing to do with NCLB) instead of resorting to the usual politicizing, we would have seen further improvement (obviously not 100% proficiency, but was that silly and unreasonable aspiration really reason to dump the whole system rather than say shoot for 75%?) … Read More

            Gary, actually that is incorrect. The STAR showed much improvement to a certain point and I would argue that if our educational community had embraced teaching and learning our superior state standards (nothing to do with NCLB) instead of resorting to the usual politicizing, we would have seen further improvement (obviously not 100% proficiency, but was that silly and unreasonable aspiration really reason to dump the whole system rather than say shoot for 75%?) Reading First was on track to transform the gap between poor and English learners, Whites and Asians by assuring students were reading fluently by third grade. But God forbid any Teacher’s Union support anything with a Republican association. Ironically three years into CC my district has their pants on fire over the dramatic drop in early reading achievement and, of course, has invested significant monies for curriculum and training that is remarkably similar to the strategies utilized RF. Of course this makes sense since the research on how to teach reading has been validated for 20 years.

            • Parent News Opinion 1 year ago1 year ago

              Dear Ms. Ann, . . You are a bright light of common sense wisdom on all Ed Source comments you write. . . It is madness trying to use data and using actual experiences of documentation as reported by you and I and many others regarding the terrible regression of learning regarding the improper interpretation of how common core standards will be taught, for the past two solid years +. . . THEN SOME LEADERS REMOVED ALL TESTING!MTHE QUIZZES! THE WEEKLY TESTS! AND PROJECT … Read More

              Dear Ms. Ann,

              .
              .
              You are a bright light of common sense wisdom on all Ed Source comments you write.
              .
              .
              It is madness trying to use data and using actual experiences of documentation as reported by you and I and many others regarding the terrible regression of learning regarding the improper interpretation of how common core standards will be taught, for the past two solid years +.
              .
              .
              THEN SOME LEADERS REMOVED ALL TESTING!MTHE QUIZZES! THE WEEKLY TESTS! AND PROJECT BASED SUBJECTIVE grade inflation regression of teaching hit.
              .
              .
              So, you know, ya do, that all school year 2015-2016 fifth grade students will not have covered say 50% of last year’s forth grade common core math standards, bad curriculum map adherence.
              .
              .
              Science covered say 30%, and 70% of mandated science common core standards covered in a very very superficial way by majority of all teachers in California

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              Ann: You are aware that Congress, under Republican leadership, defunded Reading First because it was rife with corruption. One Democratic legislator, a coauthor of NCLB, called it a "criminal syndicate" after Congressional hearings.The curriculum allowed by the various RFI directors was limited to those with publishers with whom the directors had financial ties . Other than that, RFI was just "fine." Oh, well, maybe not. The curriculum seems to be also designed to insure students did well … Read More

              Ann:

              You are aware that Congress, under Republican leadership, defunded Reading First because it was rife with corruption. One Democratic legislator, a coauthor of NCLB, called it a “criminal syndicate” after Congressional hearings.The curriculum allowed by the various RFI directors was limited to those with publishers with whom the directors had financial ties .

              Other than that, RFI was just “fine.” Oh, well, maybe not. The curriculum seems to be also designed to insure students did well in the first 3 years of school on tests of “skills,” but when the students went on to read for comprehension things did not go as smoothly.

              Research on the national reading council, that made many recommendations RFI was based on, showed it ignored good research on how to teach reading in a meaning-based way, but focused on the reading sub-skill based curriculum that ultimately results in kids not comprehending what they read and also, often hating reading too. Schools in wealthier communities were able to avoid the demeaned RFI curriculum.

              In short, RFI was a classic case of a curriculum based on “teaching to the test.” Teaching to the test may not be a bad thing…if you have a good test. Our tests were simplistic and multiple choice…aka, not good.

              The classic way to assess the assessments are to see if other tests measuring the same kinds of things correlate with the results (using much caution here). In the case of CA, NAEP scores reflected those of the rest of the US. They remained flat over the course of RFI (about a decade). At higher levels CA has always had ACT and SAT scores above the national average and that’s where they remained.

              The only claim that I am aware of that CA’s standards were of high quality was a claim made by the Fordham Foundation which is a right-wing propaganda mill.

              Your brief allusion to unions and Republican policies [sic] gives me all the clues I need about your ideological slant and, it appears, blind spot on what when on with RFI.

            • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

              in case anyone wants an objective view of what happened in Reading First.....I am well aware of the fake controversy stirred up and promoted by unions across the state and country. It was happening in my district at the time and having taken the time to actually watch the congressional hearings and read the report. I was satisfied it was simply untrue accusations and the guy who got fired wrote some dumb emails and … Read More

              in case anyone wants an objective view of what happened in Reading First…..I am well aware of the fake controversy stirred up and promoted by unions across the state and country. It was happening in my district at the time and having taken the time to actually watch the congressional hearings and read the report. I was satisfied it was simply untrue accusations and the guy who got fired wrote some dumb emails and paid the price.

              http://educationnext.org/the-reading-first-controversy/

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              Ann: An "objective" assessment of what really happened to "Reading First" from Education Next? Really? Ed Next's two key sponsors are the Hoover Institution and the Fordham Foundation, two of the most prolific right-wing propaganda mills around. I assume you were not just joking when you wrote that, so I have to also assume that, as one who seems to quote the eight-wing with some frequency, you are not open to facts. RFI was a money … Read More

              Ann:

              An “objective” assessment of what really happened to “Reading First” from Education Next? Really? Ed Next’s two key sponsors are the Hoover Institution and the Fordham Foundation, two of the most prolific right-wing propaganda mills around.

              I assume you were not just joking when you wrote that, so I have to also assume that, as one who seems to quote the eight-wing with some frequency, you are not open to facts. RFI was a money making operation for the several directors and its high level of corruption was widely documented. The various “directors” appeared to have escaped prosecution for conflict of interest because they were hired in the capacity of “contractors,” and not direct government employees. Seemed like a difference without a distinction to me. Oh well. Worse criminals, think of the finance and banking industries, have escaped legal prosecution. That’s the way the game is played. Too big to prosecute.

              The worst part of it was they, because of the RFP aspect of RFI funding, were able to foist some of the worst possible reading curriculum on the states and schools which particularly and negatively affected disadvantaged children the most.

            • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

              Ravini you're so shallow! But then I'll admit I feel the same about your union driven links that are full of babble! Fordham and Hoover are two of the most objective organizations around when it comes to education research and policy. I mean Chester Finn who served as Fordham’s President from 1997 to 2014 and he is now Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus. He is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford's Hoover … Read More

              Ravini you’re so shallow! But then I’ll admit I feel the same about your union driven links that are full of babble! Fordham and Hoover are two of the most objective organizations around when it comes to education research and policy. I mean Chester Finn who served as Fordham’s President from 1997 to 2014 and he is now Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus. He is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Finn used to work for Daniel Patrick Monihan, one the most honest politicians we have ever had and a Democrat. What’s really admirable about Fordham is how up front they are about their finances and funding. Here’s another link about Reading First you can clench your fists over. If anyone else is still engaged, all my link are highly recommended 🙂
              http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_1_reading_first.html

        • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

          Oh my, Parent News! If you knew the old standards (as well as the new Common Core ones), and what math fluency meant, you'd realize that the only place for a computation like 1000-783 in a 6th-grade math class would be as part of solving a larger problem. Obviously it was not the object of the lesson, and the student-contributed algorithm demonstrated an ability to compute efficiently -- as well as an understanding of transitivity, one … Read More

          Oh my, Parent News!

          If you knew the old standards (as well as the new Common Core ones), and what math fluency meant, you’d realize that the only place for a computation like 1000-783 in a 6th-grade math class would be as part of solving a larger problem. Obviously it was not the object of the lesson, and the student-contributed algorithm demonstrated an ability to compute efficiently — as well as an understanding of transitivity, one of those issues that you would dismiss as “esoteric”.

          As for my departure from teaching, I decided I no longer wanted to work for under $40,000 a year; change districts, schools, classrooms, and grades/courses every year as was common for low-seniority teachers during the financial crisis years, 2008-2013; or take direction from politicians, pundits and the odd angry parent, none of whom would last a day at the front of a classroom. Most of my students, parents and colleagues were sad to see me leave, and I miss them a lot.

          In computer science, which you seem to understand even less well than teaching, I don’t work in a lab. I design and set up the giant databases that power the applications on your smart phone. I also write the code that stores and retrives the data in response to your keystrokes, taps, or other commands. It’s a rather creative field, requiring interactions with a range of people, from startup investors to computer programmers to ordinary smart phone users. Database work is based on a branch of math that is scarecely covered in California public schools: discrete math, including first-order logic.

          Of course, as with most complex topics, students can understand discrete math quite well. After I left teaching, I would meet with small groups of students and parents, just for the love of teaching and learning. In that setting, some of my 6th-grade boys and girls learned how computers do math: number base conversion, binary arithmetic, two’s complement subtraction, etc. Sorry, I guess preparing for computer careers is “esoteric”, too.

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