Teachers live in a cocoon; all day with our students and with other teachers, we socialize with teachers, we complain to teachers, we go to teacher union meetings and the assault on teachers seems endless, from trying to abolish tenure, to denigrating our unions to assessing our performance by serpentine algorithms.
And, we’re jealous, other professions, lawyers and doctors don’t seem to have these problems, we’re sure the American Bar Association (ABA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) would never permit it.
In reality we have a lot more in common with lawyers and doctors.
Law schools are churning out potential lawyers in spite of the paucity of jobs. Yes, a few students graduate from elite law schools and serve as clerks for prestigious federal judges and are snapped up by white shoe firms at hefty six figure salaries. The vast majority of new lawyers, as well as experienced lawyers struggle to make a living; after all, lawyers never retire! Law firms are folding and some lawyers end up as teachers.
Law is not a growth industry as alternative dispute resolution procedures spread the need for lawyers lessens.
How much do lawyers earn?
Pursuant to Article 18B of the County Law, the Assigned Counsel Plan has been providing quality legal services to indigent persons within the Bronx and New York County Criminal Courts since 1966. The Plan provides compensation to private attorneys for representing indigent clients charged with criminal offenses.
Attorneys are compensated at a rate of $60 per hour for misdemeanor matters and $75 per hour for felony matters. The Plan provides legal assistance for trial court matters as well as appellate matters.
Court-appointed lawyers who represent “indigent persons” make only a little more than teacher per session!!
What about the American Bar Association (ABA)? Doesn’t the ABA control access into the profession? Why can’t the ABA influence the incredibly low pay and surplus numbers of lawyers?
When lawyers need to be heard, the ABA is their voice both nationally and globally. We work to promote judicial independence and ensure funding for the Legal Services Corporation. We also promote the international rule of law through programs in more than 40 countries that focus on access to justice, human rights, anti-corruption, judicial reform and more.
The ABA has very little to do with the everyday life of lawyers.
Well, if the ABA is impotent at least the professional organization of doctors, the American Medical Association has clout. Not really.
Value-Added Measurement (VAM) is not limited to teachers. The statistical technique, commonly called super crunching, or regression techniques. “… the statistical regression not only produces a prediction, it also simultaneously reports how precisely it was able to predict,” has invaded every workplace (Read review of Super Crunchers here)
The world of medicine is following the world of teaching. The feds are creating algorithms to measure every aspect of healthcare. Just as the “measurement” of teachers is supposed to improve the teaching profession the world of measurement will improve the field of medicine, and, save dollars.
Physician Performance Measurement and Reporting is a value-based purchasing strategy that enables health care stakeholders to evaluate physician compliance with clinical, evidence-based care guidelines, which can lead to lower costs and improved outcomes, and informed consumers who seek care from physicians who follow these guidelines. This strategy can be utilized by a variety of stakeholders—physicians, health plans, employers, patients, and others—to improve care, monitor outcomes, and align incentives. As such, physician measurement is an end unto itself, but also a foundation for other value-based purchasing strategies that seek to reward high performing physicians.
Like it or not, measuring physician performance is now a key part of the conventional wisdom on improving our health care system. Borrowing from management guru Peter Drucker’s mantra “You can’t manage what you can’t measure” health care policy makers have embraced performance measurement as being central to managing our heretofore unmanageable health care system.
The measurement of physician practice, you guessed it, comes from the feds. Remember, every doctor, one way or another works for the feds. The days of the individual practitioner are long gone. Doctors work in group practices or for hospitals and the rules and regulations are drafted by the federal bureaucracy and embedded in the Affordable Care Act.
Dr. Bob Centor is an outspoken critic of the entire data-driven medicine movement.
I am obsessed with performance measurement and why it not only rarely works but often causes negative unintended consequences. As I have pondered this question recently, computers cannot replace physicians as diagnosticians.
Centor may be absolutely right, it doesn’t matter – the world of medicine is changing dramatically.
Ironically lawyers and doctors no longer have clout, their organizations, the ABA and the AMA are distant, governments in cities, state capitals and Washington set policies. One of the few organizations that are fighting back is the teacher unions. The imposition of the Common Core and harsh testing environment has angered parents across the country, mayors and governors worry about the backlash and are backing away from the “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” mantra and teacher unions are working closely with parents and community organizations.
The use of VAM and edTPA may be lagging; however, in the field of medicine, in a few years, your doctor’s “score” will be a few mouse clicks away.
Will doctor’s offices, like restaurants, have an “A,” “B” “C” or “Pending” on their door?