SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Measure This With Your Data!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Measure This With Your Data!

Tonight we discuss an exercise from a recent professional development. A question was asked to the teachers, "what do we want our students to be able to be and able to do by the time they leave the school at the end of fifth grade?"

Simple enough question. But without simple answers. I mean the responses were simple, but in the light of ÜberLehrer Sydney Morris, Evan Stone, and the sycophantic anonymous teacher who left a comment earlier tonight, I felt I had get this off my chest.

So to those wonderful third year teachers, Whitney (Why Did My Parents Give Me a Girl's Name) Tilson, Thomas W Carroll, Joel Klein, Mike Bloomberg, Eli Broad, and all of the rest of the EDiots here are the responses. But, please think how these answers will fit into a bar graph or spread sheet. So what do we want from our fifth graders by the end of June?

  • Develop higher order thinking skills
  • Ability to expand their world view
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Eating healthy and exercising
  • Independent thinking
  • Higher self esteem
  • Choosing friends carefully
  • Strong sense of self
  • Importance/Principles of art
  • Self advocates
  • Role models
  • Agents of change
  • Dreams
  • Goals
  • Citizen of community
  • Thirst for learning
  • Social and global issues
  • Learning not rammed down their throats
  • Affective issues
  • Problem solving
  • Writing/reading fluently
So if you really boil it down, out of the twenty one listed, two, yes two have anything to do with academics, and one if you look at problem solving as outside the realm of academics. So what does it mean?

It means that not one teacher said anything about passing the state mandated standardized tests. That the tests, and testing are bullocks. That what teachers truly, really do can not be measured, can not be found on a spread sheet. That we, the PROFESSIONALS see more of what our students should and can be and we fight for that each and every day.

But it is all about to go flushing down the proverbial toilet.We are turning our students into non-entities with all this testing, teaching to the test, pressure to do well on a test garbage. And don't think this will trickle down, to the teachers. Go ahead EDiots, tie tenure, salaries, merit pay to scores and you will have teachers who only see students as some file number that is standing in the way of a job or extra pay. When that starts happening you will have teachers that will cheat, teachers that not work cooperatively with one another, and teachers that won't care about anyone other than themselves.

Teaching is more, so much more about test scores. This is especially true in the South Bronx and I am sure other parts of the city. Yet the EDiots don't see this. There answers, their solutions are a quick fix on what is happening, an easy answer that sounds good in ten second bites.

Yet not one of these EDiots has ever actually spent time in a classroom, except the great Dougie Lemov (but he doesn't count for he was in private school). Why won't these EDiots ever answer a question about their "teaching" background? Because there is none and if they answer they never taught then the emperor will be butt naked and the whole world will laugh at was has been revealed. HA! HA!


primadonna said...

Schools ebing run by business people - insane.

Hey, I wonder which one of these guys will hire me to be CEO of one of their companies.

UFT Members for E4E said...

Hey Teacher in the Bronx, you should continue to look at the posts on My most recent post (and yes I did post as anonymous on your site last night) states that E4E does not support evaluating teachers using test scores and test scores alone. If you do your homework, you will see that Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris support a comprehensive evaluation of teachers, in which test scores are a small part of the overall assessment. Maybe it would be difficult to quantify "dreams" and display such data in a spreadsheet, but we can certainly look at factors other than test scores.

Recruiting and retaining great teachers is how we put students first! If you are such a teacher, you have nothing to fear.

A Teacher In The Bronx said...

There should not be any evaluating of teachers that incorporates test scores. Test scores are too subjective. Besides how do we then evaluate teachers of grades that don't test and the art, Phys Ed, music, teachers?

Since Syd Syd and Little Evan work in a fairly working class neoghborhood, that is prone to more stable family and home life, and is less transient do their evaluations based on tests carry more or less weight than teachers working in a strictly povery heavy neighborhood?

However, you have yet to answer my question. Just how many years have you been teaching? The truth.

UFT Members for E4E said...

The points in this post are in response to TITB, and Primadonna on both and TITB’s blog. From here on out I’m only going to respond on so more people can join in on the conversation.
Teacher in the Bronx, I’m not going to get into details about myself because who I am has no bearing on this discussion, and will only provide you with fodder for more personal attacks. If I tell you I have been teaching for 10+ years, you will create some hypothetical situation in which I am earning over $100,000 a year and it’s time for another round of budget cuts, and I am let go. If I say I have been working for 2 years, you will lump me in with Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris as young teachers looking to make their mark in a system in which they have little understanding, before moving on to politics or business (not true). These personal attacks have nothing to do with the topic on hand. The heart of this debate is whether or not “Last In First Out” policies are in the best interest of our students. Here are the facts…
Fact: Teacher Quality has the greatest impact on student achievement.
Fact: Teacher effectiveness improves from years 1-3, and then plateaus with little change being seen until year 10, when effectiveness actually decreases. That’s right, decreases.
Before the attacks begin, let me clarify this statement. These statistics are averages. Obviously this does not mean that every 5th year teacher is more effective than every teacher with 10+ years of experience. That would be an absurd conclusion to draw. But what it does say is that there are younger teachers who do more for our students than some teachers with a decade or more of experience. Now I think it’s safe to say that 100 out of 100 parents would choose the more effective teacher, regardless of age or years of experience, to teach his/her child. This is because that is what’s in the best interest of their child. Unfortunately under the current system, when teachers must be laid off the teacher with less experience will always be removed regardless of student success. This simply is not in the best interest of our students and cannot be tolerated.
Now to address Primadonna’s point about merit based pay…
Test scores are not the only measure of teacher effectiveness. A comprehensive evaluation of teachers would look at all measurable factors of teacher effectiveness, as agreed on by the DOE and UFT. I agree with TITB that the fixation on test scores needs to stop. It is not the only way in which students should be measured, and it is certainly not the only way teachers should be evaluated. But since so many seem to fixate on test scores, allow me to make one other point. When comparing teachers based on test scores, you do not compare the percentage of 4s, 3s, 2s, and 1s then rank teachers on who received the best scores. You look at the raw scores and evaluate the growth that students have made compared to projected growth (similar to our yearly teacher evaluations). The statement you made about principals giving teachers who earn high salaries lower achieving students so as to build a case for their dismissal is a fallacy. I will reiterate this point…you measure student growth, not student scores.
To all those against the cause of Educators 4 Excellence, all I can say is you are on the losing side of this battle. “LIFO” will be repealed, merit based pay will be instituted. All you can do is slow this inevitable process down. Just look at the agreements being made in D.C. (with the support of the AFT and Randi Weingarten), or the legislation being passed in Florida. We can work together to create a similar system here in NYC, or the opposition can sit on the sideline as policies are mandated for them. Either way reform is imminent. I hope to hear more constructive criticism, and less personal attacks.
My mantra: recruiting and retaining qualified teachers is how we put students first!

A Teacher In The Bronx said...

Too tired to respond to your quoting verbatim of the TFA manifesto.

Unfortunately after I get home around 4 30, then pick son up at 5. I then have 30 minutes to relax until baseball practice which will last until 7 30 which with the requisite stop at a Burger King will bring me in the front door about 8 15. So a response tomorrow night might be difficult.

A Teacher In The Bronx said...

Oh I forgot to add. It must be great to be single.

Anonymous said...

HAHA so whenever faced with "difficult facts" teacher in the bronx runs away and hides behind baseball practice and having kids...

your answers are full of bullshit and you probably don't even know how teacher value-added data works in the first place.

and one more thing...WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU to criticize these education experts who have more knowledge than you'll ever have?

what just because you've been in the classroom means you can dictate policy?

can you tell a surgeon how to do his job?
can you tell an architect how to do his job?

if not, why the fuck do you think you're SO DAMN smart about education policy.

You never EVER have the big picture in mind and only think about what goes on in that insular classroom of yours in the bronx. Thank goodness you're not 'leading' shit cause people recognized that you're pretty blind...

ed notes online said...

"Fact: Teacher Quality has the greatest impact on student achievement. "

Another bullshit fact. Probably comes from new teacher project.

"effectiveness" I love this word. Why not just say test scores and ignore issues like whether your kids are jumping off the ledge.

Anonymous said...

what just because you've been in the classroom means you can dictate policy?

can you tell a surgeon how to do his job?
can you tell an architect how to do his job?

if not, why the fuck do you think you're SO DAMN smart about education policy.

OMG Who IS this moron?
Teachers should have a voice in education policy- we are the ones in the classrooms daily. We know what works, we know our kids. NYS just hired a testing expert who is probably going to discredit our whole testing regimen. I can't wait.
Would a politician tell a doctor how do to his or her job? Would a politician tell a police officer how to do his or her job? Of course not. So why is it ok that politicians and hedge fund assholes tell us how to do our jobs? Please. Asshole.