Rick Hess can’t help criticizing teachers.

First let me say I don’t understand why Education Week gives
this anti-teacher, privatization lover a forum.
Rick Hess wrote about the failure of the new teacher
evaluation bills but he didn’t think they failed because they were universally bad
bills, he thought they failed because they didn’t ferret out enough bad
From Ed Week: In Florida, reformers responded in part by
passing the controversial Senate Bill 736. Of SB736, Governor Rick Scott
enthused, when signing the bill, “Exceptional teachers will now be
distinguished, celebrated and rewarded for their dedication and skill.”
The bill
mandated that all teachers be evaluated based upon a set of formal observations
and student gains on achievement tests (requiring a slew of new tests to gauge
learning in every subject and grade). But after all of the effort and political
capital expended to enact the program, tens of thousands of hours spent
observing and documenting teachers, and tens of millions of dollars spent
developing the requisite tests (some of which are still being hotly debated and
so have yet to be implemented), the preliminary results announced in Januaryshowed that
97% of teachers were rated effective or better. In Tennessee, another state
regarded as an exemplar of teacher-evaluation reform, 98% of teachers were
rated at or above expectations. In Michigan, the figure was 98%. These results
meant that all the effort and expense invested in these teacher-evaluation
reforms have thus far achieved next to nothing.
The reason is straightforward enough. Legislators can change
evaluation policies but cannot force principals to apply them rigorously. And
it turns out that, even after policies were changed, principals still were not
sure what poor teaching looked like, still did not want to upset their staffs,
and still did not think giving a negative evaluation was worth the ensuing
tension and hassle — especially given contractual complications and doubts
that superintendents would back up personnel actions against low-rated

Instead or realizing the vast amount of teachers are dedicated,
professional, and knowledgeable he believes there is a conspiracy to protect
bad teachers.  

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