Saturday, November 15, 2014

Great News from MA

ICYMI, it's nice to report some good news--

You may recall that the commonwealth of Massachusetts was considering linking teachers' licensure to evaluations. They were going to up the eval ante by saying that a teacher who received two bad evaluations will be booted-- not just out of a job, but out of the profession.

Well-- that's not happening.

That news broke at the end of October, and the Massachusetts Teachers Association leapt immediately into action. They flooded the commissioner's office with a reported 45,000 emails, spoke at town hall meetings, and made plans for further vocal action.

Yesterday the commissioner announced that the department was "rescinding the draft options that link licensure to educator evaluation." Commissioner Mitchell Chester was remarkably not at all coy about it, either. In the letter and in interview, he's said basically, "Yeah, we got a shitstorm of feedback on this, all negative, so we're backing off." He also oddly noted that he agreed with the negative feedback, so someday we may have to delve into the mystery of how this proposal ever ended up on the table in the first place (did somebody do a cut and paste from their ALEC newsletter without reading carefully?)

When I originally wrote about this, I noted it was worth paying attention to nationally because, if successful, it could be a cancer that might spread.

But now, we can just hope that this kind of vocal, positive, powerful, definitive action by teachers in the face of anti-teacher and anti-education government action spread. The MTA and their leaders are to be applauded for taking an unequivocal stand and not just making a bad deal on this in return for a place at the table. 

1 comment:

  1. Here’s an interesting quote from the Boston Globe’s report:

    “ ‘It’s disrespectful to stakeholders who haven’t weighed in,’ said Linda Noonan, executive director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, which has pushed for more rigorous evaluations of educators. ‘Everyone should have their say.’”

    “Everyone should have their say” – those of us most affected are seldom heard and even more seldom listened to (thinking of Newark and Cami Anderson) so now MBAE is going to go pout in their corner. How is a business group a stakeholder, anyway? Their sponsors include Microsoft, Intel and Houghton, Miffllin & Harcourt. Just guessing, but I don’t think most of the folks running MBAE are public school parents.

    Anyway, shout out to the intrepid Barbara Madeloni. It’s pretty clear why the reformistas didn’t want her educating any students during their teaching practica.