Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers
that grow so incredibly high
Why are Klein and his cronies peeing into the wind? Aside increasing cleaning bills, what does it achieve?
Late last school year the Department embarked upon a research project: to investigate whether pupil achievement data can be used to measure individual teacher performance. Basically, bringing the School Report Card concept down to the individual teacher level. The project was done quietly, with some consultation with the teacher union. Last week, Chris Cerf, the Deputy Chancellor, at a speech in Washington announced that the purpose of the “study” was to use the results for a merit pay scheme and/or for tenure decisions.
Researchers do develop measurements of teacher performance, but would never use them for “merit” pay or tenure denial decisions, the measurements are not precise.
A few days ago a not-for-profit announced an agreement with the Department to create a number of extended day Middle Schools, without any discussions/agreements with the union.
In both instances Union President Randi Weingarten was not amused.
Why is the Department seeking fights that it cannot win?
Speculations: Bloomberg is building an education platform for his Presidential run and wants to distance himself from teacher unions.
The two major teacher unions, the NEA and the AFT will endorse the Democratic nominee and the Republican nominee will seek out the Charter School/Voucher gang. Mike wants to carve out a place in the middle. Sort of pro public school and pro Charter, tough on unions, and point to gains in test scores, whether real or perceived.
Klein is working on his” legacy” for life after Tweed.
With a ticking clock and increasing “pushback” from the electeds and the wider community Klein is seeking to garnish his resume … “this is what I accomplished, and this is what I would have accomplished if my ‘enemies,’ (i.e., unions) hadn’t prevented it.” Old Chancellors never die, they just become university or foundation presidents, or, if Mike or the Repubs seize the Presidency, Secty of Education.
With rumors of the teacher union leader Randy Weingarten leaving soon the Department is becoming aggressive figuring the union might be weak.
Actually, from the union perspective, the best thing a new leader can ask for is a “winning” confrontation with management. By the time the Department completes the teacher performance metric, if it is completed at all, it will be spring, 09, on the edge of the end of the Klein regency. From the Klein side of the fence maybe they think a brand new union president will be conciliatory, or, maybe make some political misstep, and the “testing” has begun.
But, then again, maybe that smoky aroma in the bathrooms of Tweed isn’t burning leaves …