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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Hi-De-Ho Man Sends Along Our Teacher Ratings

I hope when your HEDI ratings came down the pipeline yesterday they didn't elicit emotions similar to those of NY football fans when Heidi famously preempted the finale of the Jets-Raiders game in November of 1968.  

My high-school HEDI ratings apparently rolled in around 4:43 pm.  But I was in no hurry.  I learned the results around 8:30 pm.  Was I surprised?  Not really.  I didn't expect much from junk science.  Was I upset that my HEDI brought my "highly effective" MOTP down to simply "effective"?  Not at all.  Under the old evaluative system, no matter how hard a teacher worked and excelled, one seemed entitled to no more than a rating of S, or satisfactory.  So, what's new for little-old-"effective" me: only that it's called "science" and grossly misrepresents teacher influence upon students, holding me accountable.

I'm guessing the huge majority of teachers will be rated effective, with some developing and very few ineffective this year--as long as the Common Core is not used to clobber them.  I'm also guessing that we'll soon read in the news that Jenny Sedlis finds the whole system a sham.  She'll point out in her infinite wisdom based on years and years of experience doing God only knows what related to education that public school teachers should be fired based on Common-Core test scores alone.  

I'm sure a very select few made "highly effective," but I am sure this will do more to raise the eyebrows of colleagues than anything else.  It must be an uncomfortable position in which to find oneself since I doubt there could be much of merit to distinguish these people from their merely effective colleagues. 

I'm guessing that there will be a class of people sorrowfully "screwed" by the combination of either a vindictive administrator and sub-par test scores or merely adequate teaching skills and rotten student performance on tests.  I feel particularly for those teachers who will be taken down by the scores received by students in subjects other than their own.   This only underlines the stupidity of it all.  

So, do I feel psyched to teach another year now, knowing that my HEDI has left room for improvement?  No.  I think the best that I can try to do is remember why I became a teacher and attempt to block out all these distractions or digressions created by people who seem to understand diddly squat about students in a classroom.  

So, as I contemplate returning to teach on Thursday, I wonder who is truly "highly ineffective."  Is Raj Chetty, Mr. VAM, himself, "highly effective"?  Would he care to develop a formula, as if we need one for things better left to pure and simple human judgment?  Do any of the reformers think for one moment that they are "highly effective"?  If so, they'd better check their measures of junk science and then check them again...

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