Monday, August 15, 2011

Obama's education reformer comes to Tennessee bearing waivers, not much else

Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in the state last week failing to reassure teachers or education reform critics in his discussion.

Education blogger Jim Horn sees it as an occasion for public school stakeholders to consider more drastic measures:

Tennessee is already in eager pursuit of fulfilling all the criteria required to earn a waiver from Adequate Yearly Progress demands: 1) uncapped status on charter expansion, 2) uncapped expansion of centralized pre-K to Retirement testing systems, 3) bonus pay and teacher evaluation based on test scores, and 4) embracing the worthless turnaround strategies devised by the Gates and Broad technocrats who remain clueless about schools or learning.

We shall see how many states rush to get in line to now do for no money what large [Race to the Top] bribes could not make them do before. We shall see how many parents and teachers and students just say no to the testing madness this coming year. The movement is born and moral action now requires the sacrifice that comes with civil disobedience and non-violent resistance .... It is time to act and demand that educators be put in charge of educating our children for the most trying time in the history of our civilization. The fools and thieves of Wall Street have ruined the world’s economic systems—we shall not allow them to ruin our children any further.

Meanwhile, the teachers union rep says Tennessee teachers are worried:

The forum at Nashville's West End Middle School marked the first anniversary of Tennessee winning $500 million in U.S. Department of Education "Race to the Top" funding.

The money is for a variety of school reform measures adopted by the state in 2010, including a new teacher evaluation system effective with the new school year.

Tennessee Education Association President Gera Summerford said there's "a lot of anxiety among teachers," partially about the new evaluation system. She said teachers want clearly defined goals in the evaluation process so they know what they must achieve.

How long will Tennesseans put up with the lack of progress when so much racing to the top was promised?

1 comment:

  1. As with nearly everything, when you take money, there are strings attached. And, rightfully so.