Comments on: The Three Rhing Circus of “Education Reform” http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/31/the-three-rhing-circus-of-education-reform/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:34:01 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: lb http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/31/the-three-rhing-circus-of-education-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-813753 Mon, 11 Apr 2011 20:39:50 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14675#comment-813753 Wait, am I missing something here?

“Noyes is one of 103 public schools here that have had erasure rates that surpassed D.C. averages at least once since 2008. That’s more than half of D.C. schools.”

I agree that the other data cited in the article is damning–but isn’t it a simple mathematical fact that half of the sample has to come out above the average? And then if you looked at multiple years, it’s overwhelmingly likely that more than half of schools would exceed the average at least once? (The alternative would be that the same schools exceeded the average every single year, so exactly half exceeded rather than more than half–and that seems like a much more suspicious result.)

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/31/the-three-rhing-circus-of-education-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-809621 Fri, 01 Apr 2011 17:24:11 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14675#comment-809621 When I’m feeling foily (as in pulling my tinfoil hat down over my eyes and ears) I suspect that this is exactly the kind of Merry Pranksterism that “reform” advocates have in mind. It’s all about making teachers feel vulnerable, and all about busting up their unions.

Any real “reform” that results from this kind of policy will be purely accidental.

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By: Beth http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/31/the-three-rhing-circus-of-education-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-809601 Fri, 01 Apr 2011 16:58:44 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14675#comment-809601 In a discussion yesterday with my high school students about standardized tests, a full 60% admitted that they maybe read the first few, then got bored and bubbled randomly or in patterns. When informed that some politicians were hoping to tie teacher evaluations to scores and improvement on those tests, possibly even firing teachers whose students failed to improve, they spent about two minutes roundly mocking the absurdity of the idea. Then, one bright child asked “Wait, so, like, if we hated a teacher we could bomb the test on purpose?!” Yep. Yes indeed. These “reform” architects are right in touch with the teenage mind.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/31/the-three-rhing-circus-of-education-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-809560 Fri, 01 Apr 2011 14:49:45 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14675#comment-809560 HA! Love it, rs.

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By: rs http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/31/the-three-rhing-circus-of-education-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-809558 Fri, 01 Apr 2011 14:45:20 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14675#comment-809558 Anyone involved in, reporting on, or policy-making about education reform should be required to read Cuban and Tyack’s *Tinkering Toward Utopia* and take a 3-question standardized T/F test on it.
1. Actual, enduring change in schools occurs overnight.
2. It is possible to predict what reform efforts will take root.
3. Planned reform always works as its architect says it will.

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By: Goldbricking teacher’s unionist feeding at the public trough : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/31/the-three-rhing-circus-of-education-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-809556 Fri, 01 Apr 2011 14:32:23 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14675#comment-809556 [...] Commenter Shaz yesterday linked to this post at Gin and Tacos, which suggests that we apply the same incentives to all public employees that are being tested on educators these days: 1. A pending bill proposes a performance-based pay system for police officers throughout the Sunshine State. If the crime rate fails to improve based on rolling three-year averages, officers can be fired. They’ll all be working on year-to-year contracts without seniority benefits. Bonuses will be paid to officers who make the most arrests. Legislators believe that the new merit-based rules will encourage officers to follow the law scrupulously and suppress the crime rate for which police are responsible. [...]

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By: Perpetua http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/31/the-three-rhing-circus-of-education-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-809545 Fri, 01 Apr 2011 13:19:05 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14675#comment-809545 @ ik: Teachers’ pay is no where near equitable nationally anyway. Regional disparities will always exist, if only because of differences in local costs of living, etc. One area’s comfortable income is another’s barely-cost-of-living. I think when people talk about paying more, they mean generally we need to recognize that our cultural values one thing: how much people make. And if we don’t raise salaries across the board in a general sense we will never attract greater “talent” (ie the Finnish model where the best and brightest don’t become doctors and lawyers and bankers, they become teachers). Of course all of this is predicated on a cultural shift wherein Americans suddenly stop treating teachers with contempt. So I’m not holding my breath. But I disagree strenuously in the idea of “bonuses” for “good” teaching, precisely because evaluating this is pretty absurd, and incentive models don’t translate to things like teaching. No matter how highly paid or whatever bonus structure, there will always be some teachers who are better than others. While I agree that the stunningly incompetent should be shown the door, I’m troubled by the idea the circulates in some places that our goal should be only have good or “great” teachers. There’s always going to be a range. Focusing on getting only great teachers, IMO, is another, more insidious way, of treating teachers with contempt, because it’s so easy to NOT meet that standard. (Not that I’m saying that’s what your comment implies.) So for example, some people in teaching colleges have their merit raises tied to student evaluations as a method of ranking their “teaching effectiveness”. Are the teachers with the highest scores the best teachers? Maybe, and maybe not. We know there’s a correlation between higher grades and higher evals. The same problem applies looking at test scores. So what I think should happen is this (speaking in terms of pure fantasy): 1) Americans should have respect for teachers and the work they do; 2) teachers should be well-paid and not blamed for every single problem that America’s children have – ie creating incentives for people to WANT to become teachers; and 3) more young people should be encouraged and mentored to become teachers themselves. Among other things.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/31/the-three-rhing-circus-of-education-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-809544 Fri, 01 Apr 2011 13:18:53 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14675#comment-809544 How do we tell which ones those are? In a reasonably consistent and equitable way across millions of teachers nationwide?

Is there a nationalized system for rating and ranking any other professionals? What in this post suggested that I would find such a system deisrable? (This post is more about the fraudster-administrators like Rhee, not about my brilliant ideas for reforming American education, which I must admit are far from coherent. But then, I’m not peddling my mad skillz for reforming major municipal school systems–I’m just calling b.s. on the fraudster-administrators.)

States license and regulate professionals like physicians, attorneys, cosmetologists, and teachers. I haven’t heard anyone indict the state licensure system or blame it for the alleged widespread ills of American K-20 education. I’m just sick of the blame-the-teachers rhetoric when it’s clear that fraudster-administrators are much more expensive and have the potential to do much greater harm.

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By: ik http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/31/the-three-rhing-circus-of-education-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-809448 Fri, 01 Apr 2011 09:12:52 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14675#comment-809448 Re “we get what we pay for” – I agree, but beyond that I’m lost. Obviously some teachers are better than others. It doesn’t seem crazy to me to suggest that one of the things we need to “pay [more] for” is better teachers. How do we tell which ones those are? In a reasonably consistent and equitable way across millions of teachers nationwide? Or is that an impossibility?

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By: Comrade PhysioProf http://www.historiann.com/2011/03/31/the-three-rhing-circus-of-education-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-809328 Fri, 01 Apr 2011 01:41:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=14675#comment-809328 I am totally fucken ecstatic that you actually used the phrase “dig this” earnestly!

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