Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chap. 70: World War T: Part 1: The Menace

Chap. 70: World War T: Part 1: The Menace

Dateline: Sept. 2, 2013; Washington D.C.
Oval Office: President Obama is sitting at his desk when Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is ushered into the room by his security detail.

Obama:       I'm sorry to interrupt your Labor Day festivities, General Duncan, but we have a pressing issue of vital national security on our hands.
Duncan:      I assumed as much, Mr. President.
Obama:      I regret to inform you, General, that the enemy is now in our midst.
Duncan:     You have confirmation of this, Mr. President?
Obama:      I just met with the director of Central Intelligence.  There can be no doubt.  In fact, the infiltration of this enemy is far more advanced that we thought.
Duncan:     Who is it, sir?  Communists?
Obama:      No.
Duncan:     Terrorists?
Obama:      No.
Duncan:     Drug lords?
Obama:     I'm afraid it's much worse, General.  It's our worst nightmare.  This insidious enemy has insinuated itself into the very fabric of our most cherished institution.
Duncan:     The family, sir?
Obama:      No.
Duncan:     The church?
Obama:      No.
Duncan:     Not, the Boy Scouts of America, Mr. President?  Surely not that!
Obama:     I'm afraid it's beyond your wildest imagination, General Duncan.  I'm talking about our public education system.
Duncan:     No!
Obama:      Yes, the enemy has struck at the heart and soul of our democracy.
Duncan:     You can't mean ....
Obama:      Yes, General.  I'm talking about teachers.
Duncan:      OMG!
Obama:     Under the guise of educating our youth, teachers have infiltrated our educational system from top to bottom.  They're in every school district, in every school, every classroom.
Duncan:    My God!  They're even in ....
Obama:     Yes, General, even in every study hall.
Duncan:     How did we let this happen, Mr. President?
Obama:     We were duped.  Very cleverly they spent years getting educations.  They spent tens of thousands of dollars on their own training.
Duncan:     An excellent diversionary tactic.
Obama:     Often they even went to graduate school and gained advanced degrees in education with the sole purpose of weaving themselves into the public education system.
Duncan:    The deviousness is almost beyond comprehension.
Obama:     Yes.  And then they went underground as novice teachers, working their way up through the system, devoting years to their strategic covers.
Duncan:     Moles.
Obama:      On an unprecedented scale.
Duncan:    I see the urgency of the situation, sir.  The new school year begins tomorrow.
Obama:     Quite right.  But step one of the counter-insurgency is already in place, General.
Duncan:    You mean the race to the top money, sir?
Obama:     No.
Duncan:     School closings?
Obama:      No.
Duncan:     Co-location?
Obama:      I'm talking about the new teacher evaluation system, General.  See this red telephone on my desk?
Duncan:    The Doomsday Phone, sir.
Obama:      Exactly.  I can pick up this phone and annihilate 98% of the earth.
Duncan:     A last resort, sir.
Obama:     I'm afraid that's what we've come to, General.  The situation is that desperate.
Duncan:    You can't mean ....
Obama:     That's exactly what I mean.  You've seen this other phone on my desk.
Duncan:    The chartreuse one.
Obama:     That's right.  You were here when I had it installed.
Duncan:    The No Child Left Behind phone.
Obama:     I can pick up this phone and get a direct line immediately to Bloomberg Radio.
Duncan:    Desperate measures, sir.
Obama:     Within minutes, Bloomberg will have put every superintendent, principal, assistant principal and payroll secretary on high alert.  They will be ready to spring into action on your orders, General Duncan.  You are the supreme commander of our armed educational forces.
Duncan:    I'm ready, sir.
Obama:     Armed with the new teacher evaluation system.
Duncan:    The one that is based 40% on student performance rather than on their own teaching.
Obama:     Exactly.
Duncan:    So that we can place teachers in classrooms full of overage, under-credited students who have no chance of passing their standardized tests.
Obama:     And if the teachers fail in that 40% of their evaluation ....
Duncan:    We can rate them 100% "ineffective."
Obama:     Exactly.
Duncan:    No matter how hard they try and how well they teach.
Obama:     Exactly.
Duncan:    And we can then get them out of the system within 2 years.
Obama:     During which time we can excess them into the netherlands of the ATR pool.
Duncan:    Never to be heard from again.
Obama:     Exactly.
Duncan:    We're armed and ready to fight, Mr. President.
Obama:     Good.  Now we move to step 2.  With the new teacher evaluation systems in place, it's time to mobilize the education forces, General.
Duncan:    You mean the Common Corps, Mr. President.
Obama:     Precisely.  We don't have a moment to lose.  Starting tomorrow, tens of thousands of teachers will once again be pursuing their subversive agendas.  Under the guise of educating our children, they will in reality be pursuing their own insidious goals.
Duncan:    You don't mean ....
Obama:     Yes, personal days.
Duncan:     It's even worse than you said, sir.
Obama:      And health care.  Central Intelligence has discreetly recorded them at some of their secret meetings.
Duncan:    I know.  I read about it in the Snowden leaks.
Obama:     They laugh at Obamacare, General.  They've got all the health care anyone could want.
Duncan:     They won't be paying any health care fines, sir.
Obama:      Imagine.  A generation of youth growing up believing that you should have personal days and health care and not be fined for not having a health plan.
Duncan:     It's un-American.
Obama:     They might even grow up thinking that the single payer plan is what we should have in this country.
Duncan:     You mean like the rest of the civilized world has.
Obama:     We have to act quickly, General.  Can you rally the forces?
Duncan:     Yes, sir.
Obama:     Good.  If we act now, we can defeat this menace before it gets to the point where it is in that Brad Pitt movie.
Duncan:     World War Z?
Obama:      Where the virus has spread throughout the world and infected every school child sitting in every classroom in every school.
Duncan:     And every study hall.
Obama:     If we act now, we can avert disaster.
Duncan:    World War Z?
Obama:     World War T.  It's up to you now, General Duncan.  The counter offensive begins immediately.  Your plane is ready.
Duncan:     Where am I off to, sir?
Obama:      Parma, Ohio.  That's where we take our stand.
Duncan:     Yes, sir.
Obama:      You'll be briefed further in flight.  Now get going, General.  But remember.  Do not underestimate the enemy.
Duncan:      Teachers, sir.
Obama:       Right.  They're a devious lot.  It will take every bit of ingenuity and strength we can muster to defeat them.  Our way of life depends on it, General.  We're depending on you.
Duncan:     I won't let you down, Mr. President.
Obama:      Good.  Now, on your way out tell my secretary to send in that pizza.  The game is about to start.
Duncan:     Yes, sir!



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chap. 80: Excessed, Pt. 1: Frequently Asked Questions

Chap. 80: ATR, Pt. 1: Frequently Asked Questions

 As a member of the vast and growing ATR pool as of June 6, 2013, I thought I'd dream up some frequently asked questions as well as some less frequently given answers.  So here goes ....

FAQ:   What's the first thing I should do when I'm "excessed"?
A:        This one is easy.  Now that you're homeless, you need a theme song.  Here's mine:


FAQ:   What are the words to that song?
A:        Here they are:  Lyrics to Ramblin' Bill
FAQ:   Did you pick this song because it's about homelessness and that's how you feel as an ATR?
A:        Yup.
FAQ:   But aren't you going to change the words to suit the ATR situation?
A:        Good idea.  Some verses need no embellishment, like the first.  They describe the ATR life nicely.  Others just need tweaked here and there:

Sleep all day and I ramble all night
I love to go because I think that goin' is right.

Chorus:
Just old ramblin' Dave, just old ramblin' Dave.
Some day I may get appointed and I might settle down.
 
I ain't got no school.  I'm here all alone.
All the lesson plans I got, boys, I go them on.

I been all around from school to school.
Because the DOE is playin' me for a fool.

I'm just like a DOE consultant, carry nothin' but my hat.
I play principals where I find 'em and I leave them where I find them at.

Book bag is my pillow.  Subway keeps me warm.
Bronx sky's my blanket.  District 9 builds my home.

FAQ:   What exactly does "excessed" mean?
A:       "Excessed" isn't a word.
FAQ:    But the DOE uses it all the time.
A:         That's not a FAQ.
FAQ:    Sorry.  Doesn't the DOE use "excessed" all the time?
A:         They also call closing schools "reform".
FAQ:    Is "excessed" gibberish or gobbledygook?
A:        Gobbledygook.  The word doesn't exist except in the Urban DOE Dictionary where it means "exiled to educational purgatory".  So don't worry when your word processor refuses to recognize it.
FAQ:   What does a "letter of excess" look like?
A:        Like this:   Letter of Excess
FAQ:   Why does it say at the top that you were excessed from a "non-closing" school?  Weren't you excessed from a closing school?
A:        Maybe a school that is merely being "phased out" doesn't fall under the DOE definition of "closing."  Or maybe they can't be bothered to use an accurate form.
FAQ:    Can you sue to get your job back since your excess letter isn't accurate?
A:         I'll look into it.
FAQ:   Why were you excessed?
A:       You may be asking me to break some sacred Danielson rules about not drawing inferences and being completely objective and nonjudgmental.
FAQ:    Isn't it good to draw inferences?
A:        Of course.
FAQ:    So why were you excessed?
A:        As you can see from that letter, I was excessed from Jonathan Levin H.S. in the Taft Building.  Blame is usually placed on the budget but here's how it broke down last month at that school.  The principal kept the following numbers of teachers by department:
3  science
3  history
3  math
1  English
FAQ:     Are you an English teacher?
A:          Yup.
FAQ:     Why do you think he only kept 1 English teacher?
A:          All I know is that of the 3 English teachers there, one had less seniority than I had so to get rid of me, he had to get rid of 2 of us.
FAQ:     Why did the principal want to get rid of you?
A:         There you go asking me to draw conclusions again.
FAQ:     Well, why?
A:         I can only refer you to chapters 35, 36, 38, 42, 44, 53, 62 and others in this blog.
FAQ:    Is it true that they send ATRs to a different school each week?
A:        Is anything true in the NYC DOE?
FAQ:   Does ATR stand for "another teacher remanded"?
A:        Yup.
FAQ:    What should I do next?
A:        Repent and see if they'll let you out of educational purgatory.
FAQ:   You mean try to get a job?
A:         Oh, right.
FAQ:    Should I dig out my resume?
A:         Yup.
FAQ:    What should be in my resume?
A:         Poems, short stories - no novels - mug shot, blogs, favorite movie, snapshot of laundry room, taste in Italian food, Facebook status, reasons for wanting out of the DOE.  Here's mine:

David Haverstock
823 ---------
-----------------
Cell: -----------
Home: -----------
wdhaverstock@gmail.com

Current Status::      Excessed / ATR
    “U” rated for the 2012-13 school year by Nasib Hoxha at the failed and closing Jonathan Levin High School  -  Under Appeal as of summer / fall 2013
   
                To view the daft documents used to describe my teaching as “unsatisfactory,” click here:
                Observing the Observer
                Observing the Observer 2

Creative Project:      Co-creator along with Zawadi Noel of the cartoon strip Therapy Dog Tails.

Creative Objective:    To bring amusement and understanding to the world (see website).

Teaching Objective:    To teach high school students in an environment that promotes freedom of expression and values joyful creativity as well as analytical ability.

Qualifications:    Experience in all levels of high school English Language Arts, 9th – 12th
    Four years of NYC Ramp Up teaching, 9th grade
    Ramp Up training, spring, summer 2004, Martin Luther King H.S.
    Five years of Regents Prep courses, 11th grade
    Familiarity with Danielson, Common Core Standards, ARIS, Easy Grade Pro, Sonar, iMovie, GarageBand, and MORE!
              For discussions of Danielson rubrics written by me, see:
             The Charlotte Danielson Rubric for the Highly Effective Husband
             The Charlotte Danielson Rubric for the Highly Effective Pick-Up Artist
      
Experience:      Sept. 2004 – June 2013:  Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications Taft Campus, 172nd St., Bronx), ELA, 9th – 12th
    Oct. 2001 – Aug. 2004: Theodore Roosevelt High School, Fordham Rd., Bronx, ELA, 9th – 10th
    Sept. 1982 – Aug. 1988:  Trevor Day School, E. 90th St., New York, ELA / Math, 6th – 8th
    Sept. 1981 – Aug. 1982:  American-Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua, ELA, 9th, 11th
    Jan. 1980 – June 1981: University of Akron, Akron, OH, ESL
    Sept. 1977 – Aug. 1979:  King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, EFL

Extra-Curricular:    2006 - 2012: Producer / Organizer of the Jonathan Levin Poetry Café, a school-wide song and poetry performance produced annually
    2002 – 2003 / 2008 – 2009: Participation in Lehman College Writing Initiative, Susannah Thompson, high school coordinator
    Sept. 2004 – June 2007: Coordinator Community Service Program, Jonathan Levin H.S., high school students mentoring elementary students at P.S. 64X, Bronx
    1987 - 1988: Founder/ coordinator school newspaper, Trevor Day School
    1977 – 1979: Founder / Player / Coach, King Faisal University Basketball team

Awards:    Teacher of the Year, 1987 – 1988, Trevor Day School, E. 90th St., New York

Non-Teaching Experience:          April 1990 – Oct. 2001: Owner / Partner in Zyloral Co., vitamin sales / holistic Health / nutrition / herbal supplements

Education:    Secondary Certification Program, University of Akron, 1980 – 1981
    M.A.  University of Illinois, Chicago, 1978
    B.A.    University of Illinois, Chicago, 1974

References available upon request (probably not from my last principal).


FAQ:      Shouldn't a resume look neater than that?
A:           DOE bureaucrats are used to shoddy, ungrammatical documents with numerous spelling and punctuation errors.  They run all their memos now through mis-spell check.  This is software developed by Joel Klein exclusively for the DOE to ensure plenty of typos, gaffes, malaprops and misstatements of fact.
FAQ:     What are you saying?
A:          Give them what they like - poorly formatted, inaccuracies, and so forth.  They respect that.
FAQ:     What's Ramp Up?
A:          A remedial reading program, now obsolete as common core soon will be.  A few years ago the DOE gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a bunch of Aussies for it.
FAQ:     What's an Aussie?
A:          Somebody who knows how to take the DOE for all it's worth.
FAQ:     Should you be revealing all that personal information in a blog?
A:          Not according to Edward Snowden.
FAQ:     So why are you doing it?
A:          Because I'm in educational purgatory.
FAQ:     Do you recommend that others follow your example?
A:         Are you crazy?


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chap. 62: An Immodest Proposal

Chapter Sixty-Two: An Immodest Proposal


Jonathan Levin High School Assistant Principal of Supervision, Erica Clarke, yesterday morning  gave the graduating class of 2013 a surprising piece of advice.  "Be yourself," she told them.  There was nothing unusal about that, of course.  It was when she told them to be themselves by getting plastic surgery to alter their appearances that the "be yourself" bromide took an odd turn.

The ceremony took place at the Lovinger Theater, Lehman College yesterday, June 25, 2013.  Ms. Clarke was not a scheduled speaker but was called into action when a local politician, the keynote speaker, failed to arrive.  It was then that the A.P. of Supervision doffed her cap and gown in order to exhibit what she called her "new body".

Note #1: One might consider what follows to be private information.  I would counter that it was Ms. Clarke herself who brought up the subject in front of a graduating class of seniors, faculty, administrators, stage managers and about 200 friends and family of the graduates.

Background: Ms. Clarke disappeared from the school from late January 2013 until March 10, 2011, a period of about 6 weeks.  Nothing was said officially about her whereabouts other than that she was undergoing a "medical procedure".  School officials were mute.  No collection was made as had always been the case in the past for members of the staff who were on medical leave.  There was no suggestion that anyone ought to make sympathy calls.

It was during this very time that the school was entering its death throes. There was a town hall meeting scheduled for Feb. 17, 2013.  This was to be one of those last ditch attempts by schools threatened with the axe to save themselves by garnering community support and displaying it in front of cold-hearted DOE officials like Marc Sternberg, the Deputy Chancellor in Charge of School Closings, the guy who had a happy hour when a court decision allowed the DOE to go ahead with their school closing reform.   Photos and video of this happy event can be seen at many sites including this one, chosen more or less randomly by googling "Marc Sternberg happy hour":  DOE celebrates school closings

Ms. Clarke was nowhere to be seen.  As teachers, students and even some administrators spent weeks preparing for this event, the A.P. of Supervision was nowhere to be seen.

Perhaps it was fitting that Ms. Clarke reappeared on March 10, 2013, appearing to have lost 50 - 75 pounds during her sabbatical - fitting, I say, not because of the new wardrobe she was at lengths to make sure got noticed but because it was the very next day, March 11, that the PEP voted to phase the school out.  Again Ms. Clarke was nowhere to be seen.  Given her self-centered and self-serving behavior at graduation yesterday, perhaps she was too busy standing in front of a mirror to pay attention to the closing of her own school.

So the nugget of wisdom offered to yesterday's graduating class by this "educator" was this: be yourself by surgically altering your appearance and don't be afraid to take time off from your job, even it a critical juncture, to do it.  Ms. Clarke admitted that she had had a procedure to lose weight but equated it with self-improvement.  You would have thought that she had spent those 6 weeks working out, dieting and otherwise showing some self-discipline rather than lying around "recuperating" while the rest of us were at work trying to save our school.

Neither was this supervisor of English able to perceive the irony of saying on the one hand, I'm 52 years old and have decided to let my gray hair go "natural" - after walking around for months in a jet black wig until someone must have pointed out how ridiculous she looked - and on the other hand recommending the most unnatural procedure of all - stomach stapling or whatever they call it.   The concept of self parody, of course eludes her entirely.

Note #2: This is the same A.P. Clarke who observed me teaching imaginary students, naming three of them, and then described my teaching in that class as "unsatisfactory".  See Chap. 35: Observing the Observer.   This is the same A.P. Clarke who took 2 guesses at the date of a meeting that I'm supposed to have had with her, was wrong both times, and then used that "meeting", whenever it was and with whomever was actually there, to rate me "U" again.  See Chap. 42: Observing the Observer 2.

For an "educator" to take center stage at a graduation ceremony, a public event meant to celebrate the accomplishments of the students, strip off her cap and gown and then gush about her surgically enhanced "52-year-old new body" is reprehensibe beyond description.  Her nauseating performance brought new meaning to the phrase "cringe worthy".

Note #3: Although Ms. Clarke is nominally "A.P. of Supervision," which allows her to supervise English and history teachers, she has no credential or background in these areas.  I'll point out, therefore, that the allusion in the title of this chapter is to Jonathan Swift and may have something to do with devouring Bronx youth.  (An "allusion", Ms. Clarke, is a reference to a well-known piece of literature.)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chapter 61: How to Fail Students and Fire Teachers, 102

Chapter Sixty-one: How to Fail Students and Fire Teachers, 102


Update: June 25, 2013

I wrote in Chap. 60 about the DOE's campaign of using students and their test scores against teachers.  There is much more to be said about this.  It's the future.

Graduation at Jonathan Levin High School is now a thing of the past. Many June Regents results, however, are still things of the future. This morning we held our graduation ceremony at the Lovinger Theater at Lehman College without knowing for certain who exactly was graduating.

So far at least 3 students at this school failed the English Regents with a 61. As disclosed in chapter 60, those same raw numbers for any previous test would have passed them with 65-68. "Objective data" for the teachers who taught those Regents courses has been skewed downward. Students have been sacrificed in order to distort data prejudicially against teachers. The next time you hear a politician or DOE lackey or eduction pundit mouth the bromide, "It's all about the students," laugh an extra bitter tear into whatever you're drinking.

I might add this anecdote here as long as we're talking about manipulating data prejudicially against teachers. The new evaluation system calls for teachers to be fired or not according to that 40% of the plan that is student performance. It is now in the interest of the DOE to fail students, a catch-22 of epic proportions. The very system that is supposed to educate children benefits from failing to educate children.

You have to wonder, then, about a series of events that took place at Jonathan Levin H.S. in January of this year, 2013.  I make no judgements, draw no conclusions about these events.  If it sounds like an accusation, then maybe you're not following your Danielson rubrics carefully enough in observing this blog objectively and without making inferences.

I and one other teacher were teaching Regents ELA courses to regular ed. juniors during the fall 2012.  The expectation was that these 55 students would be taking the ELA Regents in January.  That is how things had been done here during the past 5 years when the school was receiving grades of "C", "B", and "A".  This was the description of the course as we undertook it in Sept.  Although we were told by our A.P. of supervision to use only Prentice Hall materials, we knew that we had to adapt Prentice Hall for Regents prep and that is what we did.  Both of us had taught Regents prep frequently in the past.

In early January 2013 a school aide appeared at the doors of our classes with individual Regents schedules for these students.  As they were passed around, we noticed that none of these students had been scheduled to take the English Regents.  No one in administration had said a word about this to either of us.  At no point during the semester had it been suggested that these were not Regents prep courses after all.  No rationale was given.  No explanation was given.  Nothing at all was said.

The only students scheduled to take the Jan. 2013 English Regents exam were ESL students who were mostly low level English language learners with little or no chance to pass an English test.  It is heart-breaking to see students who do not speak English sit for 3 hours or more for an exam in a language that they don't speak.  One student out of about 40 passed.

In Jan. 2013 Jonathan Levin H.S. was sitting on the edge of the DOE guillotine but its neck had not yet been inserted into the deadly machine.  The school had received a "D" after 2 "C" grades (after a "B" and an "A").  There was still a chance to avert the death sentence.  At this critical moment, students were programmed into Regents exams in such a way as to yield the worst possible results.

Shortly after the Jan. 2013 Regents, we were told that our neck had been thrust into the DOE guillotine and that the only chance we had for keeping our head would be to put on a big show at one of those great town hall meetings that have now become a tradition in the New York City public school system.  These are meetings organized by closing schools and attended by a DOE lackey, usually Marc Sternberg, who pretends to listen to the community while surfing the web on his mobile device.  The condemned school invites supporters in the community to express their displeasure at the closing.  Jonathan Levin put on a rousing exhibition on Feb. 17 that went on from 6 p.m. until after 11 p.m.  Hundreds of supporters came to protest the idea that closing schools is "reform".  The DOE "data" was presented with the interpretation that the school was failling.  Our "data" was presented that showed how the school had been sabotaged and gave the lie to the DOE interpration of the "objective data".

To no avail.  On March 11, 2013 another of those recently developed DOE public school traditions took place.  The Panel for Educational Policy (a group of mostly Bloomberg shills and lackeys) met at Brooklyn Tech H.S.,  and voted Jonathan Levin out of existence along with 22 other city schools.  An hour and a half of pleading by a parade of beautiful 6 and 8 and 10 and 12-year-old children failed to soften the hardened hearts of the PEP.  The chopping block felt nothing.

In the case of Jonathan Levin, by March 11, 2013 the DOE had more "objective data" to interpret.  They had a very poor pass rate on the January 2013 Regents to use to drop the guillotine blade.

Coincidence?



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Chapter 53: The Charlotte Danielson Rubric for the Highly Effective Pick-Up Artist

Chapter Fifty-Three: The Charlotte Danielson Rubric for the Highly Effective Pick-Up Artist


Lest you read Chapter 31 and think that only one of the Charlotte Danielson rubrics is laughable ....

Chapter 31: The Charlotte Danielson Rubric for the Highly Effective HUSBAND

... here's another of her "rubrics" for objectifying human interaction, this one as ludicrous and laughable as any other.  There are 22 of them so I'll be busy for a while but keep two things in mind always.  First, these "rubrics" are being used by bureaucrats to pretend that observing teachers in the classroom is "objective", "qualifiable" and can be transformed into "data".  Second, rumor has it that Charlotte Danielson herself is actually a puppet and that if you look closely at her videos, you can see the strings moving her arms and lips.  I don't know about you, but I swear I can see those strings - and every once in a while the tips of the puppet master's fingers at the top of the screen.

The Danielson "Framework for Teaching" contains 4 "domains":

     1:  Planning and Preparation
     2.  Classroom Environment
     3.  Instruction
     4.  Professional Responsibilities

Each of these domains contains a number of "components" for a total of 22 but see for yourself:

Danielson Puppet's "Framework for Teaching"

Note made on Jan. 13, 2015: When I wrote this chapter more than a year ago, this was a link to the  Danielson framework.  Now when you click on it you get the message:

404 - File or directory not found.

The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.


But I'll leave it there so you can see for yourself.  Maybe they're on the run.  Now you can see the Danielson domains at Danielson Framework.

Chapter 31 of this memoir (see above) spoofed competency 2d: "Managing Student (Husband) Behavior".  Competency 3b, as you can see, is called "Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques".  Gone is Bloom's Taxonomy, a far more useful tool for the teacher.  Bloom was not a puppet, however, and so although his taxonomy is more useful, Bloom himself was far less useful to the current education reformers.   Legend has it that when they attached the strings to Bloom's arms and lips, he said things like, "The best laid schemes of mice and school reformers often go awry," and, "One monkey with one typewriter could teach better than all the school reformers put together."  Need I add that the reformers quickly cut the strings.

So here it is - Competency 3b - c. Danielson Rubric 2011 - adapted for New York State Levels of Performance.

See the 4 domains at Danielson Group

See the expanded versions used for professional development at Danielson Rubric Appendix

See a handout that I received at a professional development at Danielson rubric for Questioning and Discussion Techniques

Looking at the expanded version from the appendix, I'll point out first some of the unique and innovative dimensions of this new rubric under "elements of competency 3b" (page 31 of the Danielson Appendix)

     1.  "Questions of high quality cause students to think and reflect...."
     2.  "Effective teachers promote learning through discussion."
     3.  "Teacher uses a range of techniques to ensure that all students contribute ...."

Thankfully, in the future teachers will now attempt to get students to think.  I'm sure glad they thought of that.  Who would have thought!  Thankfully, too, teachers will finally be introduced to the concept of "discussion".  That will take care of a lot of dead time in the classroom, those lingering  minutes and hours of complete silence in the wake of a teacher comment.  And I'm so glad that teachers will now be versed in the idea of using a "range of techniques" for questioning and won't have to use those yellow, dog-eared flashcards they've been using year in and year out for every lesson in every unit.

Anyway, now that the teacher-student discussion can be objectively and qualitatively scrutinized, analyzed and evaluated, why stop there?  Questions and discussions are important in a wide range of human interaction, none less demanding and important than those difficult encounters that take place in dog parks, health spas and singles bars.  I mean, of course, the line of inqury utilized daily and nightly in picking up a date.  If we can pinpoint what makes a good teacher-student discussion, surely we can determine what makes a good pick-up artist - I mean, potential spouse.

Back in the Danielson laborotory, ....

[Legal disclaimer: Although all of the stories about schools in this book are true, the scene described here is another purely imaginative, i.e., fictional account. I’ve never met Charlotte Danielson and had never heard of her before she was foisted on us and became my de jure educational guru in September, 2011.]

SCENE: The Danielson Research Laboratory, i.e., her local singles bar
SUBJECT(S):  Charlotte, various bar patrons
AIM: Picking up a date
OBJECTIVE: One Nighter (as opposed to long-term relationship- see Domain -5f)
STANDARDS: CO 4.8: targeted prey's interest is aroused through clever Come-Ons
                          ET 1.2: targeted prey expreses amusement
                          PU 3.3: targeted prey is actually Picked Up
Do Now #1:  Dress for night on the town
Do Now #2:  Review addendum in Framework for Picking-Up: State Approved Come-Ons

       Charlotte is sitting in her home office.   Her 73-year-old pick-up date, "Gary", is snoring in the next room.  She is going over the low-inference, non-judgmental notes she made during the activity just consummated though it is difficult at times to decipher her own handwriting through the cocktail (and other) stains:

         1.  Fixes make-up in compact outside laboratory (bar) entrance  –  19:17:44
         2.  Enters laboratory (bar)  –  19:37:04
        3.  Sits at center of bar, orders Angry Fijian  – 19:40:23
        4.  "Wow!  That's strong!"  [crossed out – inferential]
        5.  Finishes drink, looks around, orders another Angry Fijian  -  19:44:31 - 19:45:12
        6.  Attempts initial state approved come-on: "Hey, I like your tie clip."  – 20:03:05
        7.  28-ish targeted prey gets up and moves to end of bar  -  20:03:09
        8.  Orders double Angry Fijian  -  20:03:10
        9.   Slithers up behind gentleman at end of bar with drink in hand  -  20:07:19
       10.  Presses chest against gentleman's shoulder  -   20:08:44
       11.  Evokes excited response, "Hey, lady, what are you doing?  –  20:08:55
       12.  State approved come-on #51 ("I was wondering what you're up to, big boy.") utilized  -  20:09:02
       13.  Initiates personal conversation about how gentleman's wife won't "give me any" - 20:13:57
       14.  Invites targeted prey back to "my place"  -  21:27:21
       15.  Waits as targeted prey throws up in street  -  21:38:54
       16.  Arrives at "my place" with targeted prey leaning on shoulder  -  21:44:18
       17.  Helps targeted prey to sofa where he promptly falls into a deep sleep  -  21:45: 22


“Hmm,” she thinks to herself, “a few of these terms are slightly judgmental.” NOTE TO SELF, she writes: change “gentleman” to “dude”; consider changing "slithers" to "creeps stealthily".
Since these notes are meant strictly as a tool for discussion and reflection rather than for evaluation and she is uncertain about the level of satisfaction she is feeling, Charlotte pulls out the actual rubric in order to determine if the objectives were accomplished and the standards met.


Competency 3b: "Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques"


Competency 3b
Descriptor
Ineffective

Pick-up artist’s pick-up lines are of low cognitive challenge, single correct responses, and recited in rapid succession.

Interaction between pick-up artist and targeted prey is predominantly recitation style, with pick-up artist begging for a “yes”. 

A few targeted prey dominate the response to the obvious and crude come-ons.
Developing

Pick-up artist’s pick-up lines lead prey through a single path of inquiry, with answers seemingly determined in advance. 

 Alternatively the pick-up artist attempts to frame some lines designed to promote targeted prey giving in quickly, but only a few targeted prey are involved.

Pick-up artist attempts to engage all targeted prey in discussion of reality t.v.  and to encourage them to respond to one another with possibilities of a threesome, with uneven results.
Effective

While the pick-up artist may use some low-level lines, he or she poses pick-up lines to targeted prey designed to veil targeted prey suspicion.

Pick-up artist creates a genuine belief in fake sincerity of pick-up line, providing adequate time for targeted prey to respond and stepping into the bathroom when appropriate.

Pick-up artist successfully engages most targeted prey in the fantasy, employing a range of strategies to ensure that most pick-up lines are considered in best light.
Highly Effective

Pick-up artist uses a variety or series of personal anecdotes and sob stories to challenge targeted prey’s susceptibility with high-level suggestions of possible gains and to promote suggestion of high level and immediate gratification.

Targeted prey formulate many responses to pick-up lines, suggest alternate sites and positions and make unsolicited advances.

Targeted prey themselves ensure that all vices are heard in discussion.


Critical
Attributes
   Pick-up lines are rapid –fire, with single correct answer ("Hell no!" or "Beat it, loser!")

Pick-up lines do not invite targeted prey to fantasize in sufficient detail

All come-ons are between pick-up artist and single targeted prey; other prey are not invited to respond to pick-up lines as part of a multi-partner encounter

A few targeted prey dominate the come-on / response
   Pick-up artist frames some pick-up lines to prompt legions of  targeted prey to give it up but only  a few targeted prey respond

Pick-up artist invites targeted prey to respond directly to one another’s suggestions for multiple partner scenarios but only several engage

Pick-up artist calls on many targeted prey with a variety of physical attributes but only the least attractive respond
   The pick-up artist uses open ended strategies such as the suggestive wink or sly smirk inviting targeted prey back to the apartment; targeted prey respond with multiple suggestions

Pick-up artists makes effective us of wait time, giving targeted prey the illusion of choice and control

Pick-up artists recycles targeted prey’s words, making targeted prey believe that the pick-up artist was actually listening

Pick-up artist gives everyone at the bar the chance to respond, even those sobbing into lonely beer steins

Most patrons suggest various rendezvous sites
 In addition to the characteristics of “Effective”

Targeted prey hit on pick-up artist before pick-up artist delivers initial come-on

Targeted prey pretend that the pick-up artist is sincere by engaging in extended small talk

Targeted prey elicit new pick-up lines from the pick-up artist as well as more visually stimulating responses from other targeted prey at the end of the bar




Possible Examples
Accountable talk such as "Get Lost!" and "Loser" is heard upon pick-up artist's entrance and before the door has even closed.

Pick-up artist uses vulgar, off-the-cuff come-on such as, “Hey, baby those lips look just right for sucking,” instead of one of the state approved alliterative come-on lines tested in double blind studies such as, "Those lascivious lips look luscious."  Crude improvisation yields responses such as “Take off, squib!” or "Who let your sorry ass in the door?"

Pick-up artist spills drink on targeted prey, eliciting response, “You fucking moron!” and is thrown out of bar by short, wimpy bartender

Pick-up artist attempts same come-on with each targeted prey, “I got what you need,  honey,” eliciting a string of expletives from one end of the bar to the other

Pick-up artist hits on unwisely chosen targeted babe / dude clearly out of his / her league, whose boyfriend / girfriend  is in the bathroom, resulting in severe beating and 911 call for ambulance

Pick-up artist trips while dancing solo, falls into beer pong competition, and has hair washed in restroom toilet
Pick-up artist recites rapid-fire come-ons such as, “Wanna see my wheels? I got a great crib; My last girlfriend couldn’t get enough,” without waiting for response

Pick-up artist addresses entire bar, “Who here thinks they can handle me?” but only one douchebag / skank responds; pick-up artists notches “score” anyway and picks him/her up but “date” dissolves before taxi can be hailed

Pick-up artist manages to talk someone into a cab; targeted prey leaps out at first light when pick-up artist asks them to cover half the fare

 Pick-up artist urges bartender to lend support but even, “Hey, this guy is something,” from the bartender yields only apathetic yawns and disgusted guffaws along the bar

Pick-up artist refers to addendum of state approved come-ons, rehearses in front of restroom mirror, picks up no one but neither does anyone run out into the street
 Pick-up artist asks, “What might have happened if Studio 54 had not closed down?”  Open ended responses concerning bouncers, hookers, dealers and man on stilts ensue 

Pick-up artist uses the plural form in spewing come-ons into the room, such as, “Which of y’all wanna have a good time with this?” while grabbing crotch

Pick-up artist asks, “Michael, can you comment on Mary’s suggestion for a ménage a trois, deepening the analysis of  the discussion by suggesting ménage a quatre

The pick-up artist makes a come-on resulting in each targeted prey at the bar responding by physically mounting the bar to demonstrate favorite, unique position, but with attention directed more toward others in the room than towards the pick-up artist
Before pick-up artist can complete initial come-on, several of most attractive targeted prey slide up from behind, placing hands in strategically stimulating and intimate areas

Targeted prey line up at end of bar and begin removing clothing in hurried fashion in anticipation of come-on directed at them

Bartender pulls out numbered slips so that targeted prey can take a number and get in line

CNN crew shows up as result of quickly traveling word of mouth in time to film final 2 or 3 tabletop performances 

Pulitzer committee announces a new award named after pick-up artist with publication and analysis from well-known lotharios, seductresses, pimps, 'hos, and jet set trash worldwide

Objectively, Charlotte has to admit that she was ineffective according to standard CO 4.8 because Gary was too inebriated to fully appreciate the beauty and delicacy of the state approved come-ons utilized in the experiment and showed no objective signs of amusement.  She rates herself developing, nevertheless, in standard ET 1.2 because Gary smiled at the state approved come-on, "Can I bag your groceries, baby," though there were no groceries to be bagged or perhaps effective for arousing the response, "Hey lady, what are you doing?" in a relatively lively tone of voice considering the muddled state of the juiced targeted prey's senses.  But at least she was able to call herself highly effective according to PU 3.3 because Gary was actually picked up, though he fell asleep immediately upon arriving at the sofa.

"Now," Charlotte wonders, "what does "ineffective" plus "developing" plus "high effective" equal?"

She gets on the phone to the Danielson Group.  "Do we have those objective formulas ready yet for tabulating the results of all 22 components on a given observation of overall behavior?"

"They're still working on it, Charlotte.  Every time they insert the 13th variable and then apply the constants, the computer crashes.  But they're confident that they'll soon be able to deal with 15 of the variables as soon as they tweak a few of the constants."

"But we've got to have this thing up and running by September 1.  And it's got to look as though the formulas are 100% objective."

"Well, they tell me that they've almost got the objectivity constant calculated.  The objectivity constant.  Who could argue with that?'

Charlotte doesn't reply.

"When they get that figured out, it'll all fall into place.  They just have to figure out the square root of one more imaginary number."

"Keep me informed."

 Charlotte hangs up the phone, and decides in a very impersonal, objective manner that the "highly effective" rating outweighs the other two and gives herself an "effective" for this experiment.

"Its' a good thing," Charlotte thinks to herself, "that I'm not rating myself according to component 2d, managing behavior.  I'd certainly have to rate myself as ineffective since Gary probably isn't going to remember my name when he wakes up."

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chapter 60: NYS English Regents Conversion Chart: Failing Students to Fire Teachers

Chapter Sixty: How to Fail Students and Fire Teachers, 101


Dateline: New York City Dept. of Ed.
June 21, 2013

As the Connecticutt McGraw Hill scammers, er, scanners take another coffee break in their quest to scan New York State Regents exams into computers for quicker, more "objective" grading, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pacing back and forth at Tweed.

Bloomberg:             (pacing)  What the hell is taking so long to scan those tests?
DOE Lackey #11:   I don't know, sir.  Pearson promised to have it ....
Bloomberg:             Get me Albany on the phone.
DOE Lackey #7:      Albany, sir?  Why Albany?
Bloomberg:              I want to talk to those Pearson people.
DOE Lackey #2:     They're in Connecticut, sir.
Bloomberg:             What?
DOE Lackey #12:    That's where they have their offices.
Bloomberg:             You mean they're scanning New York state tests in another state?
DOE Lackey #14:    Well, that's where they have their offices.
Bloomberg:              How much are we paying them?
DOE Lackey #33:    Almost ten million, sir.
Bloomberg:             Get me Connecticut on the phone!  Now!
LACKEY #24 CALLS PEARSON OFFICES IN CONNECTICUT.
DOE Lackey #24:    Put me through to the test scanning supervisor, please ....  What? ....  He's where ....  (holding hand over phone)  The supervisor is on break, sir.
Bloomberg:            What!
DOE Lackey #24:   Coffee break, sir.
Bloomberg:             (GRABBING PHONE FROM LACKEY'S HAND)  Now you listen to me!
DOE Lackey #24:   They hung up, sir.
Bloomberg:             (Screams into receiver.)  I want those tests scanned now!  Do you hear me!
DOE Lackey #45:   The check already cleared, sir.  (Slams phone down.)
Bloomberg:             What check?
DOE Lackey #45:    The check to Pearson for ten million.  They're not going to answer your call.

I'm just imagining what might be going on down at Tweed right now.  After more than a week, only 20% of the NYS U.S. History Regents exams have been marked because Pearson "underestimated" the time it would take to scan them into computers and the number of glitches that would arise, the frequency of the system crashing, the poor quality of the scans, etc.  But what does Pearson care if kids in New York can't graduate beause they don't have their test results?  They've got their money.

But maybe we don't want to see these tests anyway.  As an ELA teacher, I have a stake in the results of these tests - stake through the heart that is.  Since teachers are now going to be evaluated based on student performance on these tests, we can be fired as a result of these results.  For this reason, we English teachers here at Jonathan Levin H.S. in the Bronx just took a look at the scoring charts for the June 2013 English exam and the January 2013 exam.  What we found is interesting indeed.  Here they are.

June 2013 ELA Scoring Chart

January 2013 ELA Scoring Chart

In June 2013 if a student scored 16 on the multiple choice section and 7 on the writing sections, the student failed with a 61.  However if that same student had been lucky enough to take the test last January 2013, scoring 16 on the multiple choice and 7 on the writing would have yielded a passing score of 65.

DOE formula #1: Fewer students passing = more teachers fired.

Going back to Aug. 2012, June 2012 and Jan. 2012, we find the following:

                        Multiple Choice          Writing           Score
Aug. 2012:               16                          7                     65
June 2012                 16                          7                     65
Jan. 2012                  16                          7                     68

In other words, the June 2013 ELA Regents exam is set up to fail more students than in the past.  Coincidentally, New York State has just "adopted" - read: had shoved down our throats - a new evaluation system that the UFT, rather than condemning, seems to be endorsing.  See Chapter 52: Open Season on Teachers.  Under this system, the "value" of a teacher is tied directly to student performance.

DOE formula #2: more failing students =  more fired teachers.

Perhaps you've noticed that there is a move toward using data, in fact, claiming that all decisions are based on "objective data".  Forgetting that the real reason for this is simply that computers crunch numbers faster than long divison and so using computers gives all the paper pushers, bureaucrats, superintendents, pincipals, chancellors, et al., more time on the golf course, the pretense is put forward that data can be applied to anything and everything from selling tuna to outlawing soda  to evaluating human interaction.

Human interactions cannot be objectified and neither can a student's performance in any subject.  What can be objectified, however, is the manipulation of data.

Bloomberg returns from Tweed to City Hall to meet with Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

Bloomberg:        Keep on those Pearson people.  We need those results.
Lackey #62:       Yes, sir.
Dennis:               This is throwing a wrench into our plan to get rid of 5,000 teachers by September.
Bloomberg:        Tell me about it.  I don't have much time left.
Dennis:               Well, we've got till December.
Bloomberg:        But I want 20,000 of them out.  I'm the education reform mayor.  I want real reform.  That means firing teachers.
Dennis:               Well, we got the rubrics in place.  Have you seen them?  They're a work of genius.
Bloomberg:        They better be.  We paid that MIT egghead a lot of money to do them.
Dennis:               It's very subtle.  You can hardly tell the difference between these and the earlier ones.
Bloomberg:        Keep talking.
Dennis:               But they will mean another 5 or 600 kids failing each test.
Bloomberg:        Talk to me.
Dennis:               According to our formulas, we can fire one teacher for every 37.8293847675 students who fail a given Regents.
Bloomberg:        So that means ....
Dennis:               We're right on target for December although we may be held up in September a bit.
Bloomberg:        But wait.  More failing kids - won't that reduce the graduation rate?
Dennis:              Yes, but we've gone over that, Mike.  You've got to make some sacrifices if you want to get rid of teachers.  It's a trade off.  You know that.
Bloomberf:        I know.  I know.
Dennis:              Why don't you send someone up there to Connecticutt to light a fire under those people's asses.
Bloomberg:        Good idea, Dennis.  You over there!
Lackey #55:       (Looking up from iPad)  Yes, sir.
Bloomberg:         Get my helicopter ready.  I'm going to Connecticut.

DOE formula #3:  failing students + fired teachers = school reform

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chapter 52: Open Season on Teachers

Chapter Fifty-Two: UFT: Unopposed to Firing Teachers


I was looking forward to the latest edition of New York Teacher (June 13, 2013), the UFT rag sent by mail to teacher residences.  I was looking forward to the skewering of the state imposed "evaluation" system.  I looked from front page to back, however, and found only various articles starting with the one on page 3 headlined "Complex new system unveiled".  I think it's time to take my COPE money back.

The DOE spin in Maishe McAdoo's article starts fast - in the sub-heading: "Designed to support teachers ...."  In fact, of course, the old system was designed to support teachers.  Under the old system, supervisors worked with teachers to implement and analyze teaching strategies in the classroom.  Done well, there is no better way to support teachers.  Of course, many inept or corrupt administrators used the old system for other purposes at the urging of their 3-term mayor.

The new "evaluation" system is a three-dollar bill with Michael Mulgrew's face on it.  Hold it up to the light and Mulgrew's smirk metamorphoses into a snikering image of that other Michael - Bloomberg.  The only thing it's good for is rolling it up into a straw to drink out of your 32 ounce soda.  It's not only water resistant.  It's truth resistant.

"Commissioner John King's 241-page document transformed  the old Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory rating system, which gave teachers little guidance and principals almost sole discretion, into a multi-element review of their practice that can help them improve their teaching."  (paragraph 2)

You only have to read through this second paragraph to understand why Ms. McAdoo didn't attach an email to this article.  (Here is the article in its entirety: "Complex New System Unveiled")

There are plenty of lines to read between in a 241-page document. Fortunately Ms. McAdoo boils it all down to one word: "multi-element".  In other words, there is now a 2nd element in the teacher evaluation process beyond the observation of a qualified supervisor.  Now that's complexity!  Having spent 9 years at the closing Jonathan Levin H.S., I have no illusions about the intentions of administrators.  (See Chapter 35, Observing the Observer and Chapter 42, Observing the Observer 2, for example.)  However, the "multi" in "multi-element" is where the devil creeps in and you don't need to read between the lines in 241 pages to see that.  In fact, it's right there on the pie chart accompanying the article - the one showing that the "multi" in "multi-element" is now 40% of our evaluation - student performance.  This pie is certainly going to end up in teachers' faces.

Teachers will now be rated not on their own performance but on the performance of others.  I repeat.  Teachers will now be rated not on their own performance but on the performance of othrs.  I wonder how Ms. McAdoo would feel if I rated her article not on her own writing but on the work of whoever wrote Michael Mulgrew's press release on page 11.

The new "multi-element review" is a sham.  It takes the evaluation of teacher performance out of the hands of the experts and puts it 40% into the bloodless hands of the vampire addicted, the undead hands of the zombie addicted, the magical hands of the Potter addicted, the steely hands of the super hero addicted, the gossamer fingers of the fantasy addicted, the gossiping fingers of the Facebook addicted, the fidgety fingers of the video game addicted and, yes, even the nerdy hands of the textbook addicted.  In other words, students.  Add in the 5% from the student survey, and the "evaluation" of teacher perfromance is almost 50% in someone else's hands.

How does this support teachers?

"The commissioner did not adopt Mayor Bloomberg's vision of a system that gave the DOE unchecked powers and focused on getting rid of 'ineffecive' teachers."  (para. 10)

Yes, he did.  If a teacher is rated "ineffective" on that 40 - 45% of the evaluation that is out of his/her hands, the teacher will be rated ineffective no matter how highly effective the teacher is rated on the other part of the "multi-element review", the observationThe teacher's performance in the classroom will have nothing to do with his/her "evaluation".  Smirking, unscrupulous administrators will be saying, "It's out of our hands.  I have no choice.  The multi-element RUBRIC dictates that I rate you ineffective."  They'll be washing their hands faster than Lady Macbeth.

 If you want even more proof that Ms. McAdoo's spin on the "complex" new system is pure DOE spin, just read the rest of paragraph ten:

"Announcing his decision, King said, 'Let's be clear.  New York is not going to fire its way to academic success.'"

Yes, let's be clear.  If King calls is white, it's certainly black.  The clearer a politician claims to make something, the murkier it is. The more a politician says,"believe me," the less you believe.  In the case of polit-speak, it's not so much reading between the lines as turning the lines inside out.

"Part of the complexity of the new system stems form the variety of ways that student learning can be assessed."  (paragraph 14)

Yes, and 2 plus 2 plus 2 plus 2 plus 2 plus 2 is complex because there are 6 two's in there.  Nevertheless, it takes three-tenths of a second to see that it still adds up to twelve.

There is nothing complex about this new system.  Teachers will be evaluated on student performance on state tests and in school tests.  It doesn't take a rocket science to figure out the "complexity" of this simple system of gathering data to use against teachers.  Scenario #1:

Principal:   I know this is difficult to comprehend, but try to follow me.
Teacher:     Okay.
Principal:   I'm the principal. 
Teacher:    Right.
Principal:   You're the teacher.  Are you with me?
Teacher:     Yes.
Principal:   Your students took the Regents.  Follow me?
Teacher:     So far.
Principal:    Only 53% of your students passed the Regents.  Let me spell that out for you so that you understand - F-I-F-T-Y-T-H-R-E-E-P-E-R-C-E-N-T.  Still with me?
Teacher:      I think so.
Principal:    The rubric says that if your student pass rate is below 60%, you are 40% ineffective.
Teacher:      Mmm-hmm.
Principal:   The rubric further says that if you're ineffective in that 40%, you're 100% ineffective.
Teacher:     Wait ....
Principal:    Okay, let's try it again.  I'm the principal ....

What constitutes "ineffective" on student performance?  There is nothing in the article under discussion about this question.  This is where the complexity comes in, no doubt.  The convoluted formula for determining what consitutes ineffective student performance would probably make an MIT math professor scratch his head.  In fact, I wrote about this some time ago:

The Real Teacher Evaluation System

What constitutes "progress"?

"Twenty points [out of 100] are based on state measures of student learning grownth such as improvement on standardized test ...."  (para. 12)

Progress, of course, is a good thing.  The real question is: who defines progress?  Who's to say what constitutes progress for an individual?  Who's to say that progress for the zombie addicted is the same as progress for the vampire addicted?  As we all know, the conditions and circumstances under which standarized tests are taken never vary.  Scenario #2:

Principal:     Your student Bob only got 62 on the June Regents.
Teacher:      I know.
Principal:    He got 77 in January.
Teacher:      I know.
Principal:    What happened?
Teacher:      He only got 2 hours of sleep.
Principal:    And?
Teacher:      And he didn't get that much sleep.
Principal:    What are you saying?
Teacher:     You know, that he didn't get enough sleep.
Principal:    What does that mean?
Teacher:      Probably that he stayed up too late.
Principal:    You mean you let him stay up past curfew?
Teacher:      What?
Principal:    Didn't you read the fine print of the new evaluation system?
Teacher:     I thought I did.
Principal:    Well, I'm afraid that going from 77 to 62 does not constitute progress as defined by the state.
Teacher:      I see.
Principal:    According to the state rubric, I have no choice but to rate you ineffective.
Teacher:     But he got 77.  He only took it again because you programmed him to take it.
Principal:    It's out of my hands.

In the hands of the right people - or is it wrong people -  i.e., administrators, it might even be difficult to distinguish progress from regress.  Scenario #3:

Principal:     Your scholarship went from 58% pass rate to 63% pass rate on the Regents.
Teacher:      (smiling)  I know.
Principal:    (scowling)  That's an increase of 5%.
Teacher:      I know.
Principal:     Last time your scholarship went from 51% to 58%.
Teacher:      (smiling broadly)
Principal:    (scowling broadly)  That's an increase of 7%.
Teacher:      I know.
Principal:    That's a decrease of 2%.
Teacher:      What?
Principal:    Your rate of increase decreased.
Teacher:     Well, but ...
Principal:    I'm afraid that you're regressing and I have no choice but to rate you ineffective.
Teacher:     But you rated me highly effective in the classroom.
Principal:    That's only 60% of your evaluation.
Teacher:     So I'm 60% higly effective and 40% ineffective.
Principal:   Correct, which equals ineffective.
Teacher:     But ....
Principal:    It's out of my hands.

Washing your hands is good.  It keeps them clean.  It cleans the dirty work off them.

Teacher support comes in many different forms.  There's the ineffective for the Regents.  There's the ineffective for the decrease in your increase rate.  Then there's the ineffective for the Acuity.  Then there is the ineffective for the school-based tests.  Fortunately, coming soon (they say) will be another component of this complex yet supportive evaluation system: the ineffective for the PARCC quarterly exams.  There's the ineffective for any of the 22 Danielson rubrics  Then there is the ineffective for the student survey.  Isn't it great to get all of this support!

Finally there's the ridiculous Danielson rubrics.

"Principals or other administrators who conduct classroom observations must be trained to use all 22 components of Charlotte Danielson's well-regarded Framework for Teaching rubric."  (para. 18)

McAdoo goes on to say that it's a good thing that administratros will have all 22 options for ineffective ratings since they were threatening to hold it down to "a small fraction".  Thanks for that.  Now they've got 22 fake rubrics to use against us instead of 8 or 10 or 15.

Pretending that you can objectify human interactions is the biggest lie of all in this new, supportive evaluation system.  I made this point some time ago in Chapter 31:

The Charlotte Danielson Rubric for the Highly Efective Husband

You cannot objectify human interaction and teaching is nothing if not human interaction.  But what's the sense in pretending that the 40% based on "data" is objective if you can't claim that the other 60% is also "objective".  So they've called the Danielson rubrics "low inference" and "nonjudgmental" as if calling stinkweed a rose makes it smell sweet.

There is no such thing as a low inference observation.  And, of course, inferences are essential to observations and evaluations.  Inferences are good.  Are you following me, Charlotte?  I know it's complicated but let me make it clear - inferences are good and essential.  They aren't objective and they can't be described as "data".  They're by definition anecdotal.  Anecdote is good when observed by an honest, competent observer.

Telling adminsitrators to observe a teacher's performance without making inferences is like telling students to read Of Mice and Men without making inferences.  That, of course, makes both George and Lennie cold blooded killers.