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demisfine
Often correct, NEVER right.
10:18 PM on 07/23/2012
Excellent News!!!
Good for all of you, and better for the nation if your success can be repeated.
And No Michelle Rhee anywhere to be found.
11:32 AM on 07/24/2012
Kevin Huffman, the Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner, is Michelle Rhee's ex-husband. They have extremely similar views and she is a major influence on his philosophy.
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demisfine
Often correct, NEVER right.
12:02 PM on 07/24/2012
Ouch.
She is a shameless self-promoter.
An academic SP
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Richard Garrick
This space reserved for clever comment.
09:38 PM on 07/23/2012
I live in the city of Memphis. My children both go to Memphis city schools and I am quite happy.

For my daughter's kindergarten year, she was in a county school and I was less than impressed.

So no, not everyone.
08:53 PM on 07/23/2012
As long is all of the accountability is laid upon the teacher, and none if it is placed upon the student (or, for that matter, the parent), there will be little improvement.
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Mark MacDonald
Pass the Scotch
05:13 PM on 07/23/2012
Hip Hip Hooray. Having just retired from teaching high shool English in Tulsa, I can tell you that the teacher evalution system at my district was a complete joke. I don't know if I was or was not an exceptional teacher, but I gave it my best. It was not uncommon for several months to pass by before a principal or other school administrator came to visit my classroom.
12:44 PM on 07/24/2012
Do you think you'd have been better evaluated if your eval was based on tests your students took, knowing that they weren't affected but their teachers would be?

It's been shown again and again that standardized tests vary mostly based on student and parent factors. They don't tell us much about the kids' teachers. But that's reality, and Arne Duncan doesn't have much experience with reality.
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forestlady
05:12 PM on 07/23/2012
All well and good, so now you have students who know how to score well on tests - but have they actually LEARNED anything? I live in Tennessee and know many parents with school children. There is absolutely no requirement to learn science and evolution isn't taught. So just how eligible for top schools are Tennessee's schoolchildren? Besides that, Tennessee has ranked at the bottom of education for a long time, doesn't take much to raise their test scores. I call B. S. on Duncan's "evaluation" - I know propaganda and public relations efforts when I see them.
12:01 PM on 07/24/2012
No one is questioning whether there's still a lot of work to be done in Tennessee, and for that matter, across the country. But why take the time and energize to disparage progress? Why not celebrate improvements, even incremental, in the hopes that they'll lead to something even greater?
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Kriggens
praying for a return of sanity.
12:57 PM on 07/24/2012
The accomplishment wasn't made by the changes in teacher's evaluations. The accomplishment was made by stronger professional development, money invested into education, and Tennessee's Diploma Project. They aligned their curriculum to higher standards that were expected by colleges and work environment. Progress was made, but it is deceptive to say that it was made due to evaluations.
05:01 PM on 07/23/2012
Since everyone is he!!bent on using statistics, let me throw in a few of my own. In the two years of RTTT, one state, Tenn, has shown improvement: 1 out of 50 states= 2% improvement. Since Arne Duncan is the head of the department that oversees the changes that lead to improvement, and his efforts have had such little results, wouldn't it seem that he should be evaluated on his performance, and fired from his job (including pay, benefits, and retirement) as he suggests for teachers? As long as the real problems are not addressed, the educational system cannot be saved.
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demisfine
Often correct, NEVER right.
10:21 PM on 07/23/2012
Nope.
CT improved, too
Scores were up across the district on the Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test
02:25 AM on 07/24/2012
Congratulations. I stand corrected. Now Arne can claim 4% improvement. I am not minimizing your efforts or success in CT, but I still think the DOE is going about this the wrong way. All the hard work in TN and CT will be for naught as soon as DOE realizes it cannot sustain the gains and make greater , more widespread improvements, and some new consultant comes in to scrap the plan and try something new.
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04:52 PM on 07/23/2012
Sorry Dunkin, I'm too informed for this.
03:51 PM on 07/23/2012
What is student growth? do tell....
05:07 PM on 07/23/2012
A super-duper extra-swell set of computer algorithms predicts what improvement the child would have shown in some sort of imaginary neutral universe. If the student somehow does better than that, we declare the teacher a success.
09:11 PM on 07/23/2012
LOL!!!  I believe u....
03:50 PM on 07/23/2012
I sure hope these reforms help the Memphis school district. NO ONE within 100 miles wants there kid to go there. Its reputation is terrible.
03:40 PM on 07/23/2012
Tennessee passed a bill to teach creationism as part of the science curriculum, I assume with the support of the state superintendent, since he did not raise a single word of protest.. So much for a model of education.
03:30 PM on 07/23/2012
Having experienced the Tennessee teacher evaluations firsthand this last school year I would like to express my opinion. This is a bunch of bullcrap to try and make politicians like Tennessee's governor look good...hope it's working for him because it has done nothing to improve education!
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John Galt2
My life is my own...
02:52 PM on 07/23/2012
Probably the single best thing to be done to address school funding is to shutter the Dept of Education, and return control of education to the states and localities where it belongs.

Eliminating the Dept of Ed and its bloated bureaucracy would allow billions of tax dollars to stop taking a round trip through DC to be parceled out according to who best homogenizes their kids' minds with the parameters set by the Washington elites.
02:39 PM on 07/23/2012
I like the idea of including an objective measure over the subjective evaluation of a principal. Too many issues - from personality to politics to honest conflicts over the best teaching style - can influence the principal. Any objective measure would have to be ridiculously flawed to not be an improvement.

But I wish you would have defined what you mean by "student growth." You suggest it could be 35% of an evaluation but the term is not defined here.
10:37 PM on 07/23/2012
There is no such thing as "objective" assessment in education. The subjectivity may have been standardized in advance, but it's still subjectivity.
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laoshi
my micro-bio is now not empty.
01:49 PM on 07/23/2012
One Year?

Here's what it says:

"We attribute this strong academic performance to a number of factors, including higher academic standards through the Tennessee Diploma Project; an accountability framework that recognizes ambitious but achievable goals; stronger professional development offerings funded in many cases through districts’ Race to the Top plans; and continued state financial investment in K-12 education
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despite a challenging budget climate. We also believe teacher evaluation has played an important role in our student achievement gains as administrators have specifically cited its role in improving instruction."

Teacher evaluation was last on the list of things. Sounds to me like the first things were more important. Sure teacher's need to be evaluated. But evaluations based on student outcomes should be weighted to reflect the level of poverty and social strife in the school district. Teachers cannot be held responsible for kids who don't show up, show up hungry, do drugs, belong to gangs, suffer violence at home etc. Teacher's are not superheroes - they are professionals.
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dirtydog1776
Tu ne cede malis_Do not give in to evil.
01:45 PM on 07/23/2012
Just window dressing and propaganda.......they unions will stop meaningful evaluations and collaborations from spreading too far. They are good friends of Obama, you know.
05:10 PM on 07/23/2012
It's ironic as hell that some pseudo-conservative rhetoric wants to slam Obama/Duncan for being cozied up to teachers when this administration is just as hostile to public school teachers as te previous one.
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Enroh Mot
Veritas Lux Mea
05:12 PM on 07/23/2012
Obama is good friends with the Wall Street bankers, not unions.