"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

Search This Blog

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bill Gates and Teachers on Film! Gates Should Spread the Wealth for ALL Government Employees. (DESE included)

Effectiveness benchmarks should be required for all government employees, not just teachers.  Government employees must obtain marvelous results.  If the results aren't marvelous, they are ranked ineffective and they can dance their way into unemployment.   

Bill Gates is determined to fix education and knows which tool to use to do it - the camera. In this interview with Fast Company he talks about expanding his three year pilot program, Measures of Effective Teaching,  in which teachers were filmed in the classroom as a means of providing "feedback" on their teaching skills, to districts across the country.  The program filmed 3000 teachers in seven districts as part of a teaching evaluation system that combines test scores, student evaluations, and classroom assessments, where teachers are graded by impartial observers. 

What do you think teachers? Has he found the magic "new" tool to evaluate your work? Have none of you been observed or critiqued in the classroom as part of your evaluation?

As Gates said in the interview, 
"States and districts have already spent millions of dollars overhauling teacher evaluation systems, only to have districts rating 97, 98, or 100% of teachers as 'satisfactory or better." I wonder what he thinks that percentage should be.
"In the long run, your human capital is your main base of competition."
"The ideal there is creating a skills-based credential that is well trusted and well understood enough that employers view it as a true alternative to a degree." School as jobs program. Differing from founders view of school."

"His goal for the next 20 years, he says, is to graduate roughly twice as many kids from college, move the United States up in the international rankings, and do so without spending more money."

What society needs is better return on the investment we make in education. Filming a teacher at work and then having someone provide a critique of that teacher is meant to improve their effectiveness at their job, which we have to note is a government job.

Gretchen and I were talking about this and thought, "Why should teachers be the only government employees critiqued in this way? Don't we want the best return on ALL our tax money? Shouldn't we use similar metrics that they are applying to teachers to ALL government employees?"  We quickly came up with several ideas.

Anne - Using this logic, the best way to measure the effectiveness HHS employees who oversee the welfare distribution system would be to make sure they are actually helping the applicants become productive workers in the new global economy. Therefore, their cases should be required to take a standardized test on their job seeking skills. If their scores are too low, the HHS employee should be rated ineffective and a more effective employee brought in.

Gretchen - Public health officials should be measured by how many children they can get to an acceptable Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement.  Even if the parents allow the child to eat junk food and gain weight and/or the child refuses to self regulate or exercise, the doctors/nurses should be held accountable.  If the kid doesn't slim down, obviously the health officials are not effective and should be replaced as soon as possible.

Department of Labor officials should find jobs for everyone.  Even if their clientele is lazy, unemployable because of various issues, or there are no jobs because business owners are not hiring because of the cost incurred by the Health Care Act to pay for health insurance, if the officials don't find jobs for all the unemployed, then the Department of Labor officials will be relegated to the unemployed line themselves.

A word of advice to the teachers: take theater classes before you appear on film for Bill Gates' idea of how to become an effective teacher.  Hey, even if  you can't control a child's intellectual capacity, the family structure of the child, the parental involvement (or non-involvement), what you can teach in the classroom (because you know, it's all "common") even if it is not appropriate for the level of some children or your class, the economic level of the child and the emotional level of the child, you might as well put on the best performance possible and look good. 

But let's require cameras for ALL government employees.  Like Anne said, Americans want sound investment on ALL government money expended.   Why should just teachers be singled out?  

That last question brings me to the idea that DESE employees/representatives should be filmed to determine their effectiveness.  If Bill Gates has done the pilot testing on teachers and has great results for effectiveness, then it should be a valid measure of performance for DESE employees and representatives.   Citizens have videos of the DESE Delphi Common Core meetings May 2 and you can see at the Springfield and Lindbergh locations DESE officials were not only ineffective in answering questions, they were ineffective in delivering a message people were satisfied in hearing. (This ineffectiveness was also reported in Camdenton, Kansas City, Hazelwood, Cape Girardeau...more to follow).  

If DESE allows the use of cameras for Missouri teachers, then it should welcome the use of cameras in its offices and presentations.  Cameras were an effective evaluation measure at the CCSS meetings.  DESE officials simply had to answer questions (not just make a presentation) on what CCSS are, why they were adopted, the cost, the data collection, who is funding them, etc.  The representatives were expected by the citizens to answer citizen questions (not deliver scripted one-sided information) on DESE's decisions and they could/would not answer questions.  These meetings were a massive failure and extraordinarily ineffective.   

As Billy Crystal says in the above clip, "I'm kidding.  I'm a kidder".  This was the message DESE gave to the crowds last Thursday night for folks wanting answers to their questions on Common Core.  DESE bureaucrats set up meetings in which the message is controlled and real input from the citizens is not allowed nor welcomed.  Choice architects don't have to answer to you or anyone else.

DESE did not obtain marvelous results on May 2 in the CCSS hearings.  If cameras are determined to be the tools to rate educational effectiveness, then start with the state government employees advocating DESE policies and see how many really are effective at their jobs.  Unlike Common Core, let's base THIS decision on test piloting, research and data, starting at the state agency.  If DESE accepts Bill Gates' pilot testing on teachers then it should welcome with open arms the use of cameras in its offices/presentations to determine the effectiveness of DESE employees and policies.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it clean and constructive. We reserve the right to delete comments that are profane, off topic, or spam.

Site Meter