And then, using these numbers, any teacher who is rated ineffective two years in a row can be fired. Liz might have no say in this.
So what might that do to PS 321? Realistically, many of us could be fired. Every year. And many more of us would be pushed away from the profession we love.
Here’s something parents need to understand. Even though, when our students take the standardized tests, most of them do just fine… many PS 321 teachers do not. Teachers’ ratings are not based on their students’ raw scores for the year, but whether their students improved from one year to the next. If a student with a ‘3’ gets one fewer question correct in 4th grade than she did in 3rd, that student might not have demonstrated the “added value” their teacher is expected to have instilled. Even though the student has mastered that grade’s content. Even though it’s just one question. And that teacher might, therefore, be rated in the bottom percentile of teachers.
That may sound patently absurd. However, that has already happened here.
If Governor Cuomo’s evaluation proposals come to pass, it might start to happen more and more. And if we are rated ineffective as a result two years in a row, we might be fired.
That is why so many schools in NYC spend so much time prepping for the tests. One or two wrong answers can make or break a teacher’s rating.
Faced with these changes, we’ve already been hearing from so many of our colleagues from across the city and state who will be forced to do more test prep. Even when they know that the tests do not give an accurate picture of student learning, or of the effectiveness of teachers. Even though they know teaching to the test is bad teaching. Faced with the reality of the loss of a paycheck – the loss of the career they are building, have built, or want to build – these proposals will push them to teach in ways they know to be counterproductive.