"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Broad's Deborah Gist Out to Make Teacher Certification Decisions in RI Based on Test Scores

The Oligarchs' diversified portfolio of assaults on public education is in full operation, and it is largely directed by Eli Broad's trainees, who have been placed in superintendents' chairs from Los Angeles to Chicago to Providence, RI to Raleigh to Boston, with stops in between.  In many cases, as in Boston, the Broadies provide the personnel, while Bill and Melinda provide the software, if you will.  More later on the new BPS "Gates Compact."

The latest leak from the the Broad/Gates septic think tank is a real doozie.  Rhode Island's Ed Commish, Deborah Gist (Broad Class of '08), just put forward her boss's most extreme use yet of teacher test scores.  While other states like Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Florida are working overtime to make the unconscionable, workable, with new teacher evaluations based on test scores, the Broadies have taken the destruction of the teaching profession one step further down in Providence.  If the Broad plan passes public examination, which is going on this month, even teacher certification will be based on test scores, thus eliminating entirely those annoying Deweyean democrats in the schools of teacher education who have been teaching for years that the public schools are democratic institutions and that poor children should be treated as least as humanely as we do our dogs and parakeets.

In the Broadie's new assault on public education, prospective applicants with a Bachelor's degree may become teachers under a Preliminary or Initial Educator certificate (with or without the 5 weeks of brainwashing from a TFA camp).  Then from year to year students' test scores will determine who gets Professional and Advanced teaching certificates. 

Think this adds any higher stakes to the test score derby?  If it takes full scale manipulation and corruption to end the test score gap, bring it on, say the Broadies. At least we'll be over those whining over-educated losers with all their fancy ideas about child development needs and situated cognition, whatever that is. Please!

A clip from the Providence Journal.  Note that the corrupt outfit, NCTQ, is quoted as if they they had any legitimate expertise in matters of teacher quality or preparation:
PROVIDENCE –– The state Department of Education is proposing dramatic changes to the way teachers are certified, part of Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist’s plan to raise the quality of teaching throughout the state.

For the first time, certification would be tied to a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom, based on the new evaluation system rolling out this fall.

 Also, certification would be tiered, with new teachers receiving a three-year “initial” certificate, and advancing to a five-year “professional certificate” if their evaluations are satisfactory. To distinguish the top level, teachers who are “highly effective” would be eligible for a seven-year “advanced” certificate.
But the nine-member Rhode Island Certification Policy Advisory Board opposes some elements of the proposal.
Specifically, the advisory board, which includes teachers union officials, the heads of schools of education at the state colleges, and representatives of teachers, principals and superintendents, objects to the omission of a requirement that teachers take college courses for credit — as many other states require.

Instead, the proposal requires teachers to participate in professional-development courses or workshops as determined by their principal, based on their evaluation.

“You need to grow professionally,” said Alexander Sidorkin, dean of the School of Education of Rhode Island College. “The evaluation system is new and we, on the board, don’t believe that all principals in all schools will have their teachers do something significant in terms of professional development.”

The board has recommended the creation of a consortium of higher-education institutions and other organizations that provide professional development that would oversee the quality of the programs and ensure they are relevant.
Over eight years — the length of an initial certificate and a professional certificate — teachers would be expected to receive “a master’s degree or the equivalent,” which is approximately 30 graduate credits, Sidorkin said.

Mary Ann Snider, who is in charge of teacher certification at the state Department of Education, says the new approach would allow principals to target the areas a particular teacher needs to strengthen.

“We don’t want this to be an empty, bureaucratic exercise for teachers,” Snider said. “Through the annual evaluation process, a teacher could learn they don’t have deep enough content knowledge in mathematics, and it may be best that he or she takes a course at a college. For other teachers, it might be they have problems with classroom management, and it could be best for them to partner with a master teacher in their building, and learn from them.”
Arthur McKee, a managing director at the National Council on Teaching Quality, agrees, saying certification should be linked to teacher evaluation.

“By and large, getting a master’s degree in education does not increase effectiveness in the classroom, whatsoever,” he said.

“You want to find out what the teachers need and find the available resources” they need to improve, he said. . . .
And who, pray tell, is Arthur McKee, other than "a managing director" of NCTQ?  Wow, he is "heading up a national review of education schools."  And looky here, he came to NCTQ from the Bridge Foundation, the corporate foundation purse strings that run ed deform in DC.  And before that, he was making a living trying to figure out how to use the homeless to generate tax breaks for the wealthy.  His bio:

Arthur McKee co-lead CityBridge Foundation’s work in education reform in DC, which aims to close the achievement gap in the nation’s capital through strategic investments in PK-12 education. He worked closely with his colleagues in the foundation and the foundation’s partners, developing and implementing the initiative’s strategies in creating models of excellence, attracting and preparing talent in education, and engaging the public in education reform.


Before helping to launch the Foundation’s Early Years Education Initiative in 2006, Arthur investigated the potential of philanthropic strategies in the areas of homeless service provision, workforce development, and asset building.

Arthur joined the Foundation in 2000. He holds a Ph.D. in Russian history from U.C. Berkeley.  He serves on the boards of DC Preparatory Academy and Princeton AlumniCorps. He and his wife have two school-age children.
Sounds to me like he is the perfect guy to do Eli Broad's "national review of education schools."


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