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

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Bill and Melinda Gates Fixers

Gates money continues to drive projects to put its peculiar definition on texts schools must teach and to diminish all subjects except Language Arts and math.

by Susan Ohanian

What Good News!
Bill and Melinda Gates Fixers are critical of evaluation rubrics.

What Bad News!
Bill and Melinda Gates Fixers are designing new teacher evaluation rubrics.

They're working with grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Student Achievement Partners: $6,803,348

The New Teacher Project (TNTP): $23,000,280

TNTP has issued an Issues Analysis Report titled Fixing Classroom Observations: How Common Core Will Change the Way We Look at Teaching that was co-developed with Student Achievement Partners and written by individuals across TNTP.

The first thing this report does is quote Gathering Feedback for Teaching--the Met Project, funded, of course, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, holders of the copyright.

After funding Denver to develop a 28-page rubric for teacher evaluation, Gates entrepreneurs are now saying teacher evaluation rubrics are too complex--and result in too many teachers being rated "good" or "great."

The Fixers demand that the teacher be judged on lessons based on Common Core grade level standards that give all students regular practice with complex grade-level text in language arts as well as all students working extensively with grade-level math problems.

We are told that TNTP (The New Teacher Project: Founded by Michelle Rhee) is currently developing a rubric that will prompt teacher raters to search the Common Core standards for language arts and math to ground conversations about lesson content in the language of the relevant standards.

And get this: This idea can eventually expand to include local standards in other subjects.

Local standards in other subjects as an aside--something to consider eventually.

The report writers concede that "observation rubrics can take time to design, negotiate and deploy," and "schools may need high-quality tools that they can use immediately."

Not to fear: Student Achievement Partners (co-founded by David Coleman) steps forward with the Solution: Student Achievement Partners' Instructional Practice Guides, which "support coaching and prof essional development. . . as states and districts work to adapt their official observation rubric."

Take a look at their definition of a high quality text:

  • The text(s) are at or above the complexity level expected for the grade and time in the school year

  • The text(s) exhibit exceptional craft and
    thought and/or provide useful information. . . .

  • Useful information.

    Useful information.

    Useful information.

    Useful information.

    I just want to kill somebody.

    1 comment:

    1. Mr. Martin - Please send me your e-mail. I'm reachable at pwnanc@gmail.com.

      Sincerely, Nancy Papas