ONE TEACHER’S PERSPECTIVE ON TEACHER EVALUATION

Hey everyone - sorry we have been off the blog radar for a while, and I wanted to jump back into the fray this morning and share an op-ed from a California teacher in Friday’s Washington Post. Michele Kerr, who was laid off after her first year teaching high school in here in CA, proposes a few conditions under which she would be happy to have test scores used to evaluate her as a teacher.

A FEW PICTURES

A week or so late, but here are a few pics from Ben's swearing in ceremony at Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church. A great time was had by all!

STATE BOARD DOES THE RIGHT THING

I wanted to acknowledge and thank the State Board of Education, who just did the right thing and granted waivers to Camino Nuevo, Aspire, Para Los Ninos, and Magnolia charter schools so that they can serve the entire attendance boundaries of schools they recently won under LAUSD’s Public School Choice process.

DEPT. OF BAD LOGIC

I'm a few days late on this, but I wanted to ditto what Rotherham said on Monday about a Colorado legislator's reason for opposing a bill to reform teacher tenure and evaluation. Essentially, the lawmaker is opposing a bill to improve teacher quality and accountability because many under-served students in are disadvantaged by a lack of early childhood education, amongst other things. Which is simultaenously very true and an absolutely terrible reason to oppose important systemic reforms to public education.

NEW HAVEN AS A MODEL FOR DISTRICT/UNION COLLABORATION

The NYT editorial board this week wrote about some exciting news out of my home city of New Haven, where district and union collaboration is showing "what can go right when school districts and unions work together." The two sides have sat down and hammered out what appears to be a smart, thoughtful proposal for transforming the way New Haven teachers are evaluated, with potential to serve as a model for other districts nationally.

ON VARIATIONS IN CHARTER SCHOOL QUALITY

The NYT Times had a piece on the variation in charter school quality over the weekend that is well worth reading. The premise is fairly well known – there is large variation in charter school quality, and nationally only a minority of charters outperform their traditional public school counterparts. The more interesting pieces of the story come in explaining why these schools seem to vary so much in quality, and what separates the great schools from the mediocre.

SALUTING THE PARENTS AT LAZEAR ELEMENTARY

We believe that parents have the power to enact real change in schools, and perhaps no school reflects that more than the Lazear Elementary in Oakland. The empowering story of parents taking a school district to task by pulling their kids out of school after a teacher, who had accumulated numerous serious complaints but is not being removed from the classroom, can be found here.

NEWS ROUND-UP

In reading the blogs and articles of those fighting to maintain the status quo in our public schools, a common argument arises: teacher evaluations are just too hard and too expensive to possibly implement in LAUSD. However, places like the New Haven are proposing school reform plans that have comprehensive ways to evaluate teachers. Often, opponents of this reform will argue that teachers are universally against evaluations, however, the New Haven Public School system found that 70% of teachers were in favor of an evaluation system.

CAFE ESPUELAS LIVE THIS SUNDAY

Univision radio host and huge Parent Revolution supporter Fernando Espuelas will be hosting an unscripted, live audience show this Sunday at the Alex Theater in Glendale. You can find more info here - should be a great event!

CA MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER ON SENIORITY-BASED LAYOFFS

I wanted to share this piece in Teacher Magazine by a California middle school teacher named Heather Wolpert-Gawron, which examines in detail whether a "last hired, last fired" seniority layoff system makes sense for either teachers or children. The whole thing is worth a read - here are a few key excerpts:

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