‘Puter promised to provide his proposals to reform teacher evaluations. Yeah, ‘Puter knows he’s a day late with the proposals, but too danged bad. You’re getting the benefit of ‘Puter’s awesome wisdom for free.*
‘Puter’s dissected the stubborn stupidity of his local teachers union’s response to Gov. Cuomo’s proposed teacher evaluation legislation. The union president, in his enlightened beneficence, responded: “Kids, parents and taxpayers can suck it, we’re not changing a damned thing, and you can’t make us.”
You’d think the Democrat and Chronicle had asked the teachers union to propose a solution to decades (really, centuries) of ongoing Middle East troubles instead of to propose an acceptable teacher evaluation scheme. Since the teachers union abandoned the field of intellectual battle, preferring instead to take their ball and go home, ‘Puter will now share his thoughts.
To ‘Puter, a reasonable teacher evaluation system would look something like this, assuming we’re stuck with Common Core**:
- Evaluate the tests used to measure students’ performance under the new Common Core standards. Tweak or completely redo the tests as necessary until convinced the tests are a statistically valid measure of students’ performance against the standards. Student tests cannot be used as any part of a teacher’s evaluation until certified statistically valid by an independent auditor. Not the state, not a testing company and certainly not the teachers union.
- Once the tests are certified, student performance on the tests will count for 40% of a teacher’s annual evaluation. However, the test score used in the evaluation will be a rolling three year average of a teacher’s students’ test scores. This will level out bad years for the teacher (divorce, death in family, personal illness, etc.), while still holding teachers accountable.
- In consideration of the test scores, local administrators will also consider the students’ prior relevant test scores to ensure a teacher is not penalized for having a class full of subpar students or rewarded for having a class full of honors students. The rolling three year average may be adjusted upon a documented showing a teacher’s students’ test scores increased significantly over the students’ prior test scores. Similarly, a teacher can be docked if his students’ test scores are below where prior year’s test scores show the students should be.
- Administrator evaluations will account for 40% of a teacher’s annual evaluation. Administrators must visit a teacher’s classroom not fewer than five times a year. An administrator must have experience in the field of study she evaluates. For example, and administrator with a physical education degree cannot evaluate a physics teacher, and vice versa. If administrators must be brought in from neighboring schools or districts to meet this requirement, too bad.
- The final 20% of a teacher’s evaluation will be successfully completing a goal or goals set out by the teacher in writing prior to the start of the school year. Goals can be as simple as “increase my students’ scores by 1% this year,” or as complex as “develop a new proposed curriculum for my subject, incorporating the new thoughts on teaching and present it to the school board for consideration.” Bigger goals and bigger successes get bigger scores.
- Teachers would have the right to object to their evaluation, and to file a written reply to any evaluation in their personnel file.
And there you have it. There’s ‘Puter’s off-the-cuff teacher evaluation proposal. ‘Puter thinks it’s a good and fair proposal, incorporating the best of the “TEST ALL TEH FINGS EVAH!!1!” side and the “WE NOT GUNNA CHAYNJ NUFFIN’, EDYOOCAYSHUN HATURZ!1!!” side. It really wasn’t that difficult to come up with a proposal. In fact, it was so easy, even a slack-minded union hack paid to do nothing except SPOWT ALL TEH RAYJ!!one! can do it.
Since ‘Puter’s at it, here are a few other things having to do with public education, teachers unions and pensions ‘Puter would change in order to improve New York’s education system for all children:
- Make tenure renewable on a five year cycle. This will keep teachers who are predisposed to take it easy and do the bare minimum from doing so.
- In lieu of making tenure renewable, simply do away with tenure altogether, granting teachers coverage under currently existing civil service law protections. Why do teachers need greater protections from political whims than say, town clerks? There’s no logical reason for tenure to exist in K-12 school systems, so long as civil service protections are available.
- Tax union pension distributions, with the proceeds of such tax going solely to fund education going forward. To start with, it is unjust teachers pensions are exempt from New York’s confiscatory taxes while ‘Puter’s 401k will have the ever-lovin’ crap taxed out of it (if ‘Puter stays). Second, ‘Puter would dearly love to be able to bludgeon teachers unions with the “Y U HAYT R KIDZES??!?” response teachers unions give whenever any change, no matter how small, is proposed.
- Implement right to work laws, permitting teachers to opt out of unions altogether if they wish. If New York won’t do that, then some of the following alternatives would help.
- Refuse to credit time towards a teacher’s pension when servicing as a union officer and released from work. In ‘Puter’s tiny school district, the union president is released from two periods a day for union work. He receives credit towards his public pension for doing work for a private entity, the teachers union. If teachers unions want to fund their own pension for their officers, fine, but don’t saddle taxpayers with a cost completely unrelated to teaching our children.
- Refuse to credit time towards a teacher’s benefits when servicing as a union officer and released from work. If your union release time makes you an effective part-time employee, you should only receive the benefits a part-time employee would receive. Again, your union time is time not spent teaching our kids.
- Do not allow unions to lease space in schools for offices. If teachers want unions, they can pay for offsite offices for their representatives, just as any business would be required to do. Why should unions receive treatment preferential to the taxpayers who fund union members’ forced dues?
- Require all teachers unions be reauthorized by a supermajority (60%) vote of membership each year. Why not? If unions are doing a bang up job, it should be an easy vote. If you’re afraid of the vote, you’ll likely do a far better job representing the students.
- Permit smaller bargaining units within the same building. Allow the science and math teachers to band together and get better pay than the dime-a-dozen physical education and English teachers. If teachers don’t like it, tough. Your poor choice to get a less valuable degree doesn’t mean you should be able to glom onto a person with a more valuable degree and skim their premium.
- Forbid teachers unions from taking positions on any matter other than those directly related to education. No more jeremiads on abortion rights, or gay rights, or other social justice warrior favorites. Represent your members. Stick to hours and wages. Leave so-called social justice issues to the politicians.
- Tax any political contributions made by teachers unions. After all, since union funds aren’t taxed, you’re permitting a two-tiered speech system in which corporations’ political contributions cost 28% more than unions’.
‘Puter’s got a bunch more suggestions for New York’s legislators, none of which involve screwing teachers over and all of which involve creating a more effective and responsive teaching corps.
Since ‘Puter’s suggestions are reasonable, they’ll never happen.
* Note to self: Start charging Czar for listening to ‘Puter’s words of wisdom during “All You Can Drink: Frangelico and Fudge Night” at the Leaping Peacock.
** The state teachers union (NYSUT, to name and shame them) took the same tack on Common Core’s implementation that ‘Puter’s local teachers union takes now. The state teachers union ignored legislation implementing Common Core, assuming they could get it scuttled in the legislature. The state teachers union failed, and now teachers are stuck with a poorly devised implementation strategy all because union leaders completely misread the situation and overestimated their power.***
*** You’d think our “professional educators” would be able to learn from experience. Not so, based on ‘Puter’s local teachers union’s reaction to the D&C’s request for an acceptable teacher evaluation plan.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.