Rate My Teacher

In the latest episode of Have You Heard, Jack Schneider and I have a spirited back-and-forth with none other than Michelle Rhee. Jack asks her if she’s ready to admit that evaluating teachers on the basis of their student test scores has been a bad idea. I channel Gary Rubinstein and ask Rhee if the teaching profession has suffered as a result of the policies she and her advocacy group, Students First, pushed across the country. And we talk about what’s next for education reform in the time of Trump. So what does Rhee have to say to our questions? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out! Or you can skip ahead and read the transcript.

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White Suburban Dads—Even Worse than Moms?

If you could ask Arne Duncan just one question, what would it be?

lawnmowerBy Patrick Hayes
If you could ask Arne Duncan just one question, what would it be? That’s the dilemma I faced when I heard that my district would be hosting a live Q & A with Big Dunk.There was the obvious choice:

*Whaddya’ get Bill Gates for Boss’s Day?  The man has everything.*

Instead, I settled on this: Continue reading →

Silence of the Teachers

Why one young educator rejects Educators 4 Excellence’s corporate agenda and you should too.

By Sean Lords
Teacher-led organization? The voices of classroom teachers? On the surface, Educators 4 Excellence sounds like what education policy needs—the voices of experienced classroom teachers who have inspired students to live fulfilling lives. Nevertheless, a screen full of buzzwords only serves to obscure a tired truth—Educators 4 Excellence has little interest in the experience of dedicated classroom teachers. Instead, they are actively recruiting young educators to affirm the rhetoric that supports top-down educational reform. They certainly have no interest in my voice. Continue reading →

What’s Good 4 the Goose…

Should what’s good for the goose be good for the gander?

Reader: it is one of the tragic ironicalisms of our time that the same education officials who are so eager to impose strict accountability measures on the teachers in their states are denied the experience of being held accountable themselves. In state after state, a persistent culture of low expectations means that officials continue to earn hefty paychecks even if they aren’t good at their jobs. Which raises a fiercely urgent question: is it long past time to hold our education officials to the same standards of excellence to which they have never before been held?

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The Official Education Rephorm Lexicon

A portfolio is a discredited approach to education reform and a brief case in which papers explaining the excellence of said approach can be carried.

Reader: like you I spend many hours each day aligning myself with the new Common Core standards. And already the payoff has been huge. My scores on the standardized tests that I administer to myself three times per week have risen incredibly, while my Value Added has also shot up, except around the house where I continue to refuse to lift a finger. Nowhere has my improvement been more excellent than in mastering new vocabulary. Yesterday alone I acquired two new Tier Seven vocabulary terms: oenophile and Jeroboam. Continue reading →