Owing to spending parts of four decades in education, I follow with some interest “VAMboozled!” a blog by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, notably because she is spot-on when it comes to cover educational issues, specifically teacher evaluation, accountability and something called “value-added modeling,” which is where she derives the moniker for her blog.
Secondly, because my brother is a high school history teacher in New Mexico, I also follow her reporting on the near soap-opera going on in his adopted home state. A group of educators, backed by the American Federation of Teachers, is charging that the New Mexico’s current teacher evaluation system is unfair, error-riddled, harms teachers, and deprives students of high-quality instructors. More here ->http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/03/01/a-closer-look-at-four-new-mexico-teachers-evaluations/
Reporter Chris Quintana in The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper reported the teacher evaluation system, implemented in the 2013-14 school year, has been among the most divisive of the education reforms instituted by Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera. Skandera has said the previous system rated 99 percent of teachers effective and needed to be overhauled. Skandera, it is worth noting, is a former member of Jeb Bush’s staff when he was governor in Florida.
Teacher evaluation systems ‘at issue’ across U.S. courts
But back to Audrey’s blog… she reports that New Mexico is not alone in lawsuits over teacher evaluations. She writes, “As you have likely noticed, lawsuits continue to emerge whereby (typically) state’s “new and improved” teacher evaluation systems, based in part on value-added model (VAM) output, are at legal issue. If you have lost track, Education Week just published an article with all lawsuits currently filed, under way, or completed across the nation. In sum, there have been 14 cases filed thus far across seven states:
New Mexico n=3,
New York n=3,
and Texas n=1.”
You can find her blog here – http://vamboozled.com/teacher-evaluation-systems-at-issue-across-u-s-courts/
UPDATE: New Mexico’s teacher evaluation lawsuit: Final day five
Posted: 10 Oct
The final day in the New Mexico’s Teacher Evaluation Lawsuit in Santa Fe was this past Thursday, Oct. 8. Unfortunately, I could not attend day five (or day four) due to a prior travel engagement, but here are two articles that highlight the events of the final day (for now) in court.