- Develop teacher (and principal) evaluation systems that substantially rely on measures of student achievement and growth. States thus promised to develop strong data systems that would enable them to assess student progress and achievement and to evaluate teachers based in part on these data, using “value-added” measures that purport to assess teachers’ impact on student learning, distinct from other factors. These systems would eventually collect data based on the new, higher standards that states also had to adopt: 40 points out of the 500 were contingent on developing and adopting standards based on the Common Core State Standards, and RTTT is widely credited with spurring rapid adoption of the Common Core across almost all states (40 states competed in the first round of RTTT).
- Strengthen teacher preparation programs and improve access to and quality of professional development programs.
- Identify alternative routes to certification in order to remove barriers to teaching for potentially strong teachers who might be impeded by existing systems or processes.
. . .a couple hundred excess teachers, including me, were herded into lines, in a hot hallway, to schedule short interviews with Principals of listed schools. Almost immediately, interview spots were called as filled at several schools. I got 1 interview, the only interview left for a position I qualify for. There were several hundreds behind me in line, I would say I was with in the first 50-70 in line... If not closer. So I leave a bit and come back for my 11:30 interview. On the door hung a sign that said "filled" and the position scribbled out. I returned to the Teach Memphis staff who said, "yeah, that position was already filled" and unapologetically invited me to the Networking Session at 1pm to leave my resumes with principals of schools that didn't have interviews spots available. I will go, and I will go tomorrow. But this seemed like a humiliating waste of time for professionals. . .
- Identify and turn around the lowest-performing schools, using one of several strategies along the lines of federal school improvement grants. Strategies include firing the principal and/or much of the staff, turning the school over to a charter or other outside manager, or closing it altogether.
So bottom line: While the EPI Report finds many shortcomings in terms of results of RTTT, I would argue that RTTT has been wildly successful from the standpoint of the people who put it together. Until we all come to realize that CorpEd does not believe any of their rhetoric about educational rights, civil rights, teacher quality, blah blah, and that their motivation is corporate takeover of schools, social control through testing, and the crushing of the teaching profession, then we will continue to tsk, tsk about what a failure RTTT has been. IT HAS BEEN A HUGE SUCCESS FOR CORPORATE EDUCATION REFORMERS!!