As a 20-year veteran public school teacher, all in Title I schools, I can’t claim to be an expert, just someone who has been in the trenches for a long time. I am deeply concerned with John Huppenthal’s plan to model educational reform after Florida’s reform. How is labeling schools A-F vastly different than labeling them Excelling, Performing, Failing, etc.? Same poor system, just different labels.
Schools, children and teachers are already being labeled on single test scores — which is also highly inappropriate. Should we label every businessman/business on a single bad business deal and then take away their business? Should we label a dentist as failing because a patient gets a cavity? Probably not.
So why label schools, teachers and children on a single test score? I could write a whole different letter on why this is not good practice. Effective teaching practice is more than a single test score. A better, more effective way to evaluate teachers and teaching is the TAP-Teacher model (my former school district has already implemented this model). I saw nothing in the Florida model that brings in parents or district administrators, other than principals, into this equation. All factors need to be evaluated before true reform can happen. Make the playing field level for all schools and then reform can happen.
Kristine Tolman, Mesa