Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Memphis' Irreplaceables!

Congratulations to Memphis City Schools "Irreplaceables" -- those phenomenal teachers that are changing lives for students every single day!  They demonstrate how great teaching overcomes poverty, dispelling the myth that because of poverty children can't learn.

These are my heroes and sheros, and what every students deserves in every classroom, every year.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another Attempt At Delaying Student-Centered Reforms

For over three years now, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has attempted to move forward in developing a new and more effective teacher evaluation system – an essential first step in ensuring that students have access to effective teaching, the most significant in-school factor for student success. And throughout these three years, the defenders of the status quo – namely United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) – have taken every effort to obstruct, delay, or kill the effort.

The concern that implementing Academic Growth over Time (AGT), a system for using student achievement data (test scores) to inform teacher evaluations, continues to be their primary objection. Just last month, union president Warren Fletcher ordered robo calls to UTLA members instructing them not to participate in the district’s voluntary performance review system, citing AGT as a flawed system.

In the meantime, community members and parents throughout the district continue to call on LAUSD and the Board of Education to move forward on the new proposed evaluation system with AGT, as it is significantly better than what we currently have in place. They remind LAUSD every time that the futures of 650,000 students are at stake.

Today, as Board Member Zimmer calls for a vote on his very confusing resolution, which both supports and rejects AGT, the community will speak again. Communities for Teaching Excellence (C4TE) appreciates Mr. Zimmer’s focus on expanding ways to look at student achievement, but stands by the community in demanding that the Board move forward, not backwards, as parts of the resolution attempt to do. We stand by the community in their rightful push for support and accountability for teachers and leaders by moving forward with AGT as one of several measures in an individual teacher’s evaluation. And we stand by the community in declaring that continued delays will not be tolerated, as the resolution does by asking that the evaluation process be negotiated with UTLA.

C4TE also applauds the Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times for its editorial, calling on the Board to reject provisions in Board Member Zimmer’s resolution that delay efforts in moving forward ( 

Today, it is time to move forward, not backwards, for the sake of the children.