Representative Miller and Pelosi are sponsoring a revision to the No Child Left behind act which would tie our teachers salaries to children's standardized test scores. I don't believe our teachers should bear the brunt of the accountability for a basically broken educational system of pathetic funding and lack of resources for students and teachers, when in fact its our teachers on the front lines doing all they can to serve the needs of all kids, DESPITE the system.
We all know that standardized test scores are inadequate measures of student achivement and teacher performance in many ways. There are many flaws in the testing procedures, such as inclusion of ESL and special needs children whether they can read English or not. And putting MORE and MORE pressure on teachers to 'teach to the test' doesn't do our kids any good as the curriculum and methods of teaching morphs to put out cookie cutter kids that can fill in the right bubbles.
And high scoring districts will soon hit the top and not be able to improve, but that is not taken into account in the bill.
This bill would supercede teachers compensation contracts with districts, would remove teachers collective bargaining power.
And in my opinion, most often its mainly our teachers who are working to improve our system and serve our kids. Not to mention, a high performing school district's (like Palo Alto's) main strength is our ability to attract and retain high quality teachers. I don't think we should have the federal government stepping in between PAUSD and our teachers agreements.
If anyone's compensation should be tied to district performance, it should be the Superintendents. Perhaps this would ensure that they were driving the districts in ways that REALLY helped close the achievement gap, instead of catering to more and more refined versions of deep pocket special interest groups. This would also ensure that Superintendents were paying attention to measuring, attracting and retaining high performing teachers in ways that were appropriate for that district.
Miller's office is telling callers that the teachers and their union don't understand the wording of the bill, but the teachers have excellent legislative analysts, and the California Teachers Association is against this bill.
The legislature will take up this "proposal" to amend the law in these next week or so, if you are against this, please contact our legislators and let them know ASAP:
698 Emerson Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: (650) 323-2984
Fax: (650) 323-3498
email via webform found at website: Web Link
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 556-4862
Fax: (415) 861-1670
Rep. George Miller, Chairman, House Education and Labor Committee
1333 Willow Pass Road, Suite 203
Concord, CA 94520
Phone: (925) 602-1880
Fax: (925) 674-0983
More info and shortcuts for writing or calling the legistators can be found at the California Teachers Association: cta.org