"It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to." - W. C. Fields
Good lord. I take off to eat. I go do a few things, and when I get back, there's 19 emails I gotta answer.
I'm going to go watch TV. I can't look at this thing anymore.
You can dance without a lawyer
#2 I think you do strike for a lack of respect when the result is everyone is telling you what to do and know one is asking you what you need even though you are the expert and you are on the front line. And I personally was given a largely unusable curriculum to follow to teach math, have had to give countless standardized tests, are currently teaching to the new CORE curriculum, etc.
#3 I just want to see the system of merit pay developed before I blindly say yes to merit pay. And here's one of my problems with using standardized tests. At my first school my students averaged 14 on the ACT. If you guess, you should get around a 12. When students are so far behind, how can you use that data to truly measure growth? What if I moved a student from a 4th grade level of understanding to an 8th level of understanding in one year? That would be pretty good I think. But is that going to show up on the ACT? See what I'm saying?
#4 I'm not sure what you're saying here. I have plenty of confidence in my own abilities. I worry that the method of evaluation will not be accurate.
#5 Part of you is with me, to be honest. And the union does get involved if a teacher feels that the administration is not following the Student Code of Conduct in terms of disciplining children. But I think the SCC is plenty strict if properly implemented and balanced. It seems to me like the charter schools do not try and reform students, but rather to punish and thusly encourage them to transfer out.
Most of my post is about the children. If people asked teachers what would help them do a better job, or at least stopped micromanaging them and measuring them and just trusted them to do their job, their students would do a lot better. That was my first point. The merit pay piece was more about teachers, granted. But the last point about charter schools addressed my concern that if we continue to go down that path we are going to end up with a system that is a lot worse for our students.
I think you need to realize that the teachers ARE the union. We are one and the same. =]
You know what strikes me as odd? The fact that you aren't kept abreast of exactly what it is your union is fighting for and against. I mean, they tell you in broad strokes...but why don't you KNOW what the evaluation system is that they're proposing? (I know it's because you aren't told...not that you yourself are uninformed.) It's also my understanding that union teachers were involved in designing the evaluation system. And that it's only being used on non-tenured teachers this year...that a committee will then be put together, including teachers, to tweak it for the future. This seems so reasonable!
At any rate, it's tough on families and tough on kids. I hope it gets settled soon -- at a cost that taxpayers can afford.
I'm going to sign off for the night. It's been very interesting discussing this with you. Thank you.
Thank you, Quazi!
My own research showed New York at 60% (from WSJ). Same with Philly at 60%. I can post links if you want. As far as Houston goes, I googled "how does houston calculate graduation rates" and the first page listed was this:
"A few years ago, the Houston School District was lauded as having very high graduation rates. But the so-called
“Houston Miracle” became famously mired in controversy after a state audit discovered that at some schools, more
than half the students classified as “discharged” should have been classified as dropouts.
How graduation rates were calculated for the class of 2004
Texas’s practices in defining the graduation rate are partly to blame for what expert Dan Losen of the Civil Rights
Project at Harvard University has called the “miracle of misrepresentation.” The state continues to boast an
84.6% graduation rate for the class of 2004, while independent estimates put the rate between 65 and 70%.
• Texas records 20 different graduation types, all counted as receiving regular diplomas.
• From the ninth-grade cohort, Texas subtracts students in 29 “leaver” categories, including separate categories
for students who are enrolled in GED programs, incarcerated, and participating in court-ordered alternative
programs; students who transfer or intend to transfer (without confirmation); unknown and unlisted leavers;
and students who leave under administrative withdrawal. None of these students are considered dropouts;
they are just not counted. For the purpose of calculating high school graduation rates, these students have
simply ceased to exist.
Step 1. Identify the cohort for the class of 2004: 348,039 entering ninth-grade students.
Step 2. Adjust the cohort: 348,039 students minus 60,527 leavers plus 16,601 students with data errors
equals the adjusted cohort for the class of 2004: 270,911 students (the denominator).
Step 3. Identify the graduates for the class of 2004: 270,911 minus 10,507 dropouts plus 19,826 students
staying in school plus 11,445 GED recipients equals total graduates for the class of 2004: 229,133
students (the numerator).
Step 4. Divide graduates by the adjusted cohort: 84.6% graduation rate."
So Houston calculates graduation rates differently and to their own advantage it seems.