Repeat after me: "I love national education. I love my school/state having no autonomy. I love paying my taxes into a system in which I have no voice."
Missouri promised to revise the way it evaluates teacher effectiveness as part of its request for a waiver of requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The intent of the Act is to narrow achievement gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged public school students. However, the goal of 100 percent proficiency on state standardized tests by 2014 appeared to be unrealistic, and the U.S. Congress was overdue on reauthorizing NCLB. Therefore, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan has invited states to apply for waivers, and Missouri submitted its waiver request in February among the second round of applicants.
The federal government has already granted waiver requests to all ten of the first round of applicants and plans to respond to the second round of requests sometime in the next few weeks. As part of the waiver requests, the U.S. Department of Education directed states to choose one of two teacher evaluation options. Missouri chose Option A, which requires that teachers and principals be involved in developing the new evaluation system. Option A also requires adoption of new evaluation guidelines by the end of this school year.
Oh, that's right. Remember many of these educational reforms DESE has signed onto are "state led". Apparently the Federal Government has mandated the State Board choose from Option A or Option B. I guess that's the DOEd's idea of "choice" and the definition of "state led". When is "choice" not really "choice"? Is a waiver valid when it dictates more restrictions than the original plan?