Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If it ain't broke, replace it with something ill conceived and untested

Montgomery County, MD's school system has been looked to as a model and inspiration by other districts for good reason. Kids, teachers, and principals excel, stakeholders collaborate, and resources are allocated reasonably. One of the many things they are doing right is their teacher evaluation system, called Peer Assistance and Review (PAR), which prioritizes and fully funds and supports peer coaching for new and struggling teachers. The system is proven effective and is highly regarded, yet, as this WaPo blog posting details, it is unacceptable under Race to the Top rules because it does not include students' test scores as part of the evaluation. What stupidity. This has been coming down the line for a while--this article is from June 2011.

I think Race to the Top has some reasonable principles and many strengths. But there are parts of it that were not thought out well, or not done knowledgeably. This sort of outcome is idiocy.

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