from Teacher’s Point of View
There are several problems with this plan, which I will highlight below:
1) Malloy’s plan fails to see that it takes an entire community to educate and develop a child. It takes a village, as they say. Yet no accountability is put on the community and family. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (see link below), students cannot learn at a high level when their basic needs are not being met. When students come to school hungry, unloved, lonely, and/or afraid, they will not excel in school. Does anyone truly believe that we could take all the teachers in Greenwich, move them to New Haven, and the kids there would suddenly start achieving at the same level as the Greenwich kids? The notion is preposterous.
2) The new evaluation system has never been piloted. That’s right, it has never before been used. Despite this, the governor wants to tie a teacher’s license to it. How do we know if it will be accurate? Have we determined its effectiveness? Do we know if it accurately and fairly represents a teacher’s ability? Malloy wants to base a person’s livelihood on an evaluation plan that has never been piloted.
3) Malloy’s evaluation plan will fail to close the achievement gap between inner city schools and other schools. In fact, I predict that it could do the opposite. Many people don’t know this, but Malloy not only wants to tie tenure to the evaluations, but the teacher’s actual license. So rather than losing a job based on the untested evaluation, the teacher will actually lose their license to teach anywhere. How will that hurt inner city schools? It will drive the best teachers away from them. A portion of the evaluation is based on standardized test scores. Inner city schools have had significantly lower standardized test scores. If a promising new teacher has spent over $100k and 6 years to get a license, why would they risk that license on a school with historically low student achievement. Under the new plan, promising new teachers will view inner city schools as liabilities. They’ll start viewing under-achieving schools as a threat to the license they spent years and a lot of money to acquire. Inner city schools may get teachers who are desperate and can’t find jobs anywhere else, but will fail to draw in those that are so qualified, they can choose where they want to teach. Is this a logical way to help close the achievement gap?
I encourage the governor to come up with a plan that will truly benefit the kids and help to enhance student learning. Currently, his plan only looks to scapegoat teachers and punish them for things that has never been solely in their control.