Saturday, November 29, 2014

The New Butterfly Effect

Old Butterfly Effect: A butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, and the result is a tornado in Oklahoma.

Now that US ED wants to link everything together, we need a revision. New Butterfly Effect:

A butterfly flaps its wings against the window of a school room where students are taking the High Stakes Test. Several of the students are so excited (they just had a unit about butterflies and grew some in their room that they then released into the wild at recess-- is this one of ours? does he remember us and want to come back? look! Look!!) that they actually get up to look. The test proctor scolds them and makes them sit down, but between the excitement of the butterfly and the hurt feelings for the scolding, they have lost their focus for the day. All of them do poorly on the test.

Because several of the students do poorly, their teacher's VAM score is low.

A phys ed teacher and a music teacher also get low evaluations. They don't teach these kids, but the convoluted evaluation formula causes the student scores to lower the teacher evaluation scores.

Because at least one of these teachers is on the second year of a low evaluation score, that teacher is fired.

Two of these teachers got their degree from a local college education department ten years ago. Because Arne Duncan's plan to evaluate colleges by the test scores of their former students' students, that local college ed department gets a lower evaluation.

Because of the lower test score, the department loses financial support from the feds. They also suffer a bout of negative publicity because they are on the fed's Naughty List. They have already been struggling with recruitment, and so they cut their program and raise tuition.

Without an affordable local program, several local high school seniors decide not to pursue a goal of a teaching degree after all. Instead they just go straight into the workforce.

And so by next summer, former teachers and high school graduates are all looking for a job.

And so, because a butterfly flaps its wings, Wal-mart has a large enough labor pool to continue hiring workers for 20-hours-a-week at minimum wage.

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