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Re: school-based bonuses and Weingarten




Yup.  George Bush's silver-tongued rhetoric about the importance of testing to determine "Is our children learning?" completely bamboozled the unions all right.  That has to be the explanation.

Art




-----Original Message-----
From: James Horn <ontogenyx@gmail.com>
To: arn-l@interversity.org
Sent: Wed, 3 Dec 2008 5:53 am
Subject: Re: [arn-l] school-based bonuses and Weingarten










As I read your excellent post, Joe, I wonder how it is that the unions would
not be eager to come out of their spider holes, where they have been hiding
for 8 years, especially given the fact that there is such a mandate for
change across the country. But, instead, they have drunk the post-partisan
Kool-Aid brewed up by the Karl Roves of America to dissuade principled
action that is antithetical to the neocon sewage that the voters have
rejected. Very odd, and very stupid.

On Tue, Dec 2, 2008 at 9:47 PM, <MONICALUCIDO@comcast.net> wrote:

> Leo: Get off your own rhetorical high horse. The bottom line is that you
> support positions that are not in the best interests of kids. I'm not here
> to construct politics. I'm here to make a change. I guarantee if the NEA
> gathered its 3.4 million constituents and rallied them under the banner that
> testing abuse is destroying our public schools, there would be massive
> action that would cause all parents to pause and think about these
> destructive practices. Assuming that we would "pay a heavy price" for taking
> a position which protec
ts children from harm is worth it. It is also mind
> boggling that you say we WOULD pay a heavy price. Hello! We have already
> paid, the kids have paid, and it's getting worse. Why would parents trust
> teachers who have not warned them of the sickness that permeates many of our
> U.S. classrooms right now? What do you think has happened to our profession
> in the last ten years of "compromising" with corporate ideologists? Michelle
> Rhee has become more cred
> ible t
> han authentic teachers! My "maximalist" position is shared by thousands of
> educators. Senator Paul Wellstone (who passed away) has even spoken about
> the same elements many like myself hold dear. The unions' INaction has
> allowed much of this to happen. They don't represent the rank and file
> teachers experiencing so much pain. Step down from the pulpit and wake up to
> the reality of what has happened.
>
> Joe Lucido
>
> EPATA/CalCARE
> Fresno, CA
> -------------- Original message ----------------------
> From: leoecasey@optonline.net
> > Joseph:If you want to construct your politics around a world where you
> never
> > compromise and only fight for maximalist positions, that is your right.
> The only
> > penalty you pay for that politics of moral purity and symbolic gesture is
> > political marginality and ineffectuality. If teacher unions took a
> similar
> > posture, there would be an extraordinarily heavy price paid by teachers
> and
> > students across the country. In the real political world, there is
a
> major
> > effort to include mandates for the use of test score data on performance
> pay, as
> > Ken Bernstein correctly pointed out. If we adopted the posture you
> advocate, we
> > would have that imposed on us in a political nanno-second.The simple fact
> is
> > that in national political debates teacher unions are understood by all
> the main
> > actors as the most important critics and opponents of NCLB. The fact that
> you
> > consider us to be sell outs on that count says more about your political
> > analysis, I am afraid, than it does about our actions.Leo----- Original
> Message
> > -----From: Date: Saturday, November 29, 2008 1:17 pmSubject: Re:
> school-based
> > bonuses and WeingartenCc: arn-l@interversity.org,> Mr. Casey,
> >
> > > I have read you and Jim's exchanges and you continually seem to berate
> > his position, which is the> opinion of some of us on this list. As for
> > myself, I am a teacher and co-founder of Educators and> Parents Against
> > Test Abuse here in the central valley of California. We were created
> > because of the> frustration of not getting the support from our local OR
> > national unions in fighting the blaze created by > NCLB's insane focus on
> > test scores. The reality is that in the classroom, kids are in pain and
> > misery > from the continual focus on raising their "proficiency"
> > (whatever that means). As teachers, many are > sick and tired of being
> > bullied around by idiot administrators who por
tend to know our children
> > and > profession better than we do. I do not want to compromise on
> > allowing test scores to be used as part > of teacher merit pay AT ALL (
> > "they are based on the DoE's school progress reports, which for
> > > elementary and middle schools are 85% based on state test
> scores."---are you
> > kidding me?)
> > There > has never been any research that concludes that standardized
> > testing increases learning. There is more > likely evidence that it
> > damages learning that anything else. This is the issue that is simply
> > not being > discussed by the unions. What teachers want is good working
> > CONDITIONS and the freedom to > use our professionalism to make the best
> > choices for our classes. Whether it's the NEA, AFT, or Cal. > T.A. there
> > shouldn't be ANY compromising on what we have been sworn to do, and
> > that is to > educate all to the best of our ability without causing harm.
> > These unions HAVE sold out by not > speaking out in the media. They have
> > not protected kids, but their own power structure. The message > I get
> > from you is that we should adjust and settle with this new concept
> > because it's going to happen > anyway. I totally disagree. Nothing has to
> > happen if those of us who really care about what's > happening to our
> > students fight it. Unfortunately, we'll have to do it by ourselves
> because union
> > > leadership is looking out for numero uno.
> >=2
0> Joseph Lucido
> > Educators and Parents Against Test Abuse/CalCARE
> > Fresno, CA> Jim:Apparently you don't believe that the readers of ARN are
> > smart
> > enough to know that you are quoting a post discussing a > topic other
> than the
> > school-wide bonuses.The passage in question > refers to a letter jointly
> signed
> > by Randi Weingarten and Joel > Klein on the appropriate use of student
> test
> > data. The reason > why Randi signed it was because it put Klein and the
> DoE on >
> > record, in a contractually enforceable way, as prohibiting the > use of
> that
> > data for tenure decisions and annual evaluations. > Moreover, it had
> Klein
> > agree, for the very first time, that such > data is not a true reflection
> of
> > teacher performance. The letter > says that data should be used only to
> inform
> > instruction, not > for any evaluation, and that the data for individual
> teachers
> > > will not be made public.What is remarkable about your > extravagant
> hyperbolic
> > talk of teacher union sellout is that New > York State was the very first
> state
> > in the US to pass > legislation prohibiting the use of test score data in
> tenure
> > > decisions, and it acquired that status because of a full-pitched >
> battle the
> > UFT fought with Klein. [It is my understanding that > since then,
> California
> > adopted similar legislation, so there now > are two states.] The UFT has
> thus
> > managed to hold the line20of > individual performance pay and the use of
> test
> > score data for > tenure and evaluation, while both are being put into
> place >
> > across the rest of the country, and you are talking about sell-> outs.
> The
> > reason for the school-wide bonuses was to create a "do > no harm"
> firewall that
> > prevented the adoption of individual > performance pay, and created an
> > alternative on the national > level to the adoption of individual merit
> pay in a
> > new > ESEA/NCLB. If the bonuses do anything to encourage collaboration >
> in a
> > school, since all must receive it for one to receive it, > that is all
> gravy.The
> > history of trade unionism, in the US and > worldwide, is full of lessons
> of
> > unions facing the challenges of > new technology, such as that is
> emerging
> > around test score data. > Unions that have played King Canute,
> pronouncing that
> > the waves > will not roll in as you would have us do, have quickly been >
> > submerged by the waves. The unions that have been successful > have
> worked to
> > shape the form and use of the technology, as we > are doing here.> Maybe
> if you
> > were a classroom teacher who faced the prospect of such> developments as
> > individual performance pay and the use of test score> data for tenure and
> > evaluation decisions you might be less > likely to> indulge such
> > rhetoric.Leo----- Original Message -----> Leo,> > It is common knowledge
> that
> > the de
al cut by Weingarten and the> > Bloomberg-Klein machine on bonus
> pay for
> > test scores in NYC > gave Randi an> > exposure boost in the corporate
> media as
> > someone that the > Business> Roundtable can do business with. With all
> the news
> > of > Randi, the> > conciliator in the New York Times, no less, who is
> going to >
> > run against her?> > Especially in this recycled era of the Post-Partisan
> > Technocrat.> > > You, in fact, played up the "Klein-Weingarten" deal in a
> post >
> > at EdWize that> > has obviously slipped your mind. Here's a couple of
> your own
> > > factual graphs> > in which you notably share some reservations on using
> test >
> > scores for bonus> > pay, reservations that will doubtless be forgotten as
> this
> > new > "compromise"> becomes much more widely implemented without the >
> benefit
> > of well-crafted> > warnings issued by those who signed on to it:> > > The
> > Klein-Weingarten letter correctly concludes that even the > most
> complete> >
> > data from standardized tests "can never perfectly represent an >
> individual>
> > teacher's contribution to student learning." Data > from standardized
> tests> >
> > needs to be used with these limitations in mind.> > > Even if
> standardized tests
> > were better and more reliable > measures of actual> > student learning,
> it is
> > essential to remember that, again in > the words of> > the
> Klein-Weingarten
> > letter, "a broad array of factors, many20> outside of an> > educator's
> direct
> > control, influence student learning." > Teachers embrace> >
> accountability for
> > our professional work, but like all > professionals, we> want to be
> accountable
> > for – and evaluated on > – that which we control. We> > should be
> responsible
> > for our teaching, for our instruction in our> > classrooms, and for
> basing that
> > teaching on the best > processional practices.> > This agreement supports
> those
> > best practices, and the > education of New York> > City public school
> children
> > will benefit. (EdWize October 1, > retrieved> from,>
> > http://edwize.org/doe-and-uft-reach-agreement-on-appropriate-use->
> > of-standardized-test-data
>
>