Sunday, January 13, 2013

Educapitalism Suffers More Set Backs in Hamburg and Seattle

It appears the blowback against corporate privatization and for profit education is ON. From the great state of Washington teachers at Garfield High have formally refused to administer another useless standardized test that will once again be used to evaluate teachers, a purpose for which it was not created. And in nearby Ballard High, another Seattle school, teachers have announced that they will be joining their colleagues at Garfield in refusing to participate in the stupidity of administering a weaponized standardized testing instrument.

Closer to home, Hamburg NY teachers have likewise refused to sign off on the APPR mandated by the Ommissioner of NYSED with a $450,000.00 blackmail attached to it. The Superintendent and Board took their sweet old time in settling in for negotiations, an obvious ploy to limit the amount of time left for negotiations hoping to cash in on Mr. King's attempt to make teachers who stand up for themselves look like they are throwing away money meant "for the children." Hamburg's APPR left any final say on a disputed teacher evaluation  completely in the hands of the Super to break the tie. As professionals with a scrap of self respect should do, Hamburg teachers answered with a No in Thunder (nearly 75% of them voted it down).

And in a few days something tells me Buffalo teachers are going to find themselves alongside our brothers and sisters in Hamburg when push turns to shove and the lil Commissioner's ticking clock stops ticking without successfully bullying BTF into signing off on yet another a lousy deal that's intended to facilitate the widespread termination of teachers no matter what their skill level or expertise.
This is the future of ed reform in America friends. It's time David started to loosen up and gather up a few stones. Goliath has had it his way long enough.

Combine this with CTU's victory against Rahm Emanuel in Chicago and the ouster of charter shill Tony Bennett in Indiana. Add the steady gains being made in exposing the true agenda of these phoney ass venture philanthropists and their vulture educapitalism and I bet I could find a physics teacher who'd agree this looks like momentum.


  1. This is all very nice. Here is what I do not understand. Hamburg WILL have an APPR approved by tomorrow or soon thereafter. The sticking point for approval is a small one and the Hamburg Sup't is just chomping at the bit to change the language and approve this mess. He will give them whatever they want on this one small issue. How exactly does that help anything? No disrespect to Hamburg teachers. They have not said no to an APPR per se, just to a small part of the "language" of the APPR.

    Same goes for Buffalo. Ours is written. It conforms to the language of the Deformist evaluation plan. The sticking points are minor and the APPR will be approved, most likely on time, with small, relatively inconsequential concessions on all sides.

    We will then ALL be subjected to HEDI ratings and subjective observations and some teachers will feel demoralized and humiliated when all the numbers come in. THAT is the State's plan.

    The brave teachers in Garfield and around Seattle, however, have actually banded together and said NO to one specific test. The test that they refuse to give is the equivalent of the Acuity test that Buffalo will be giving later this month. The test is useless. It is a "predictor" of how students will do on the State exams. It is a very time-consuming,expensive piece of pure junk science developed by Mc-Graw Hill. Here is the hilarious link to it.
    This is a data wonk's dream. Sadly, our administrators cannot distinguish a piece of crap test from a reasonable one. And THAT is why Garfield said no to theirs.
    Garfield teachers did not say no to ALL tests, just "garbage" ones like this.
    To me, that refusal makes a huge statement. That is what should be done here, in Buffalo. NO WHERE in our contract does it say we have to administer every piece of garbage test that the data-sluts at City Hall find sexy. A new teacher contract should have language that limits the number of tests that a teacher must administer. That should be "negotiated". If we are being evaluated on "test scores", we should have a say in which ones and how many. Believe me when I say that the Acuity test is going to take lots of time. It is going to be done online. It will particularly make our ELL's look terrible. The unreliable, terrible scores will then be utilized against the teachers. The scores will be utilized to further berate our teachers. Our local Deformers will use the scores to snatch our public schools out from under us and turn them into private money-makers.

    Just Say No to the Acuity and any other junk test that harms our students and takes time away from teaching.

  2. Sorry, one more thought on this Acuity test, and the State test in general. As you know, this year's State test will be more difficult. It has been aligned with Common Core and veers drastically from the State test of the past. A significant part of the Conference Day was spent surreptitiously attempting to clue teachers into this. Here is the part you might find interesting.
    NYSED, and the Regents and whoever else, has already predicted a 30% decrease in test scores across the State. Yes, 30%. And they just shrug their shoulders. No pushback against Pearson or any other Testmakers. No attempt to scale it back or roll it out more equitably.
    Here is where it get dicey. These scores, that are predicted to be MUCH LOWER will be used against you in the evaluation plan. ALL teachers will be affected. THAT is, in my opinion, why the Conference Days, at first thought to take away too much time from instruction, were hustled back into the calendar. And the haphazard inservicing that was done is a major CYA move by the District to say that teachers were "prepared" for this.

    If you have recently had a two hour powerpoint boiled down to 20 minutes at a faculty meeting, you know how effectively you are being prepared. NOT, however the District's butt is nicely covered.

  3. Peg ( the one hiding under the bed...)January 14, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Added to this idiotic waste of class time, the Gov. wants to make the school day longer and add more days to the school year.
    He could save 20( or more) class days by telling Pres. Obama that NY is no longer wasting millions of dollars and dozens of class days on test prep, practice tests, real tests and time correcting tests and more time figuring out how to use the data for student records, more time and money for teacher evaluation fees done by software businesses in collusion with test companies...

    There is no end to this...I think I'm in the middle of a nightmare..testing..testin..test..protest protest YES!!! that's the answer. See you all in D.C. on April 4th ?

    The only way out if for at least 85% of the country's educators to all say "NO!" simultaneously...not a group here, and a group there...The 1% make all the rules...everyone has a price, the only difference is in the number.

    ( This sounds like I am a nut case..I think Iam ...or very close.)