Idaho has proposed a Tiered Licensure rule that potentially ties a teacher’s license to student test scores and local evaluations. To bribe teachers to accept this bad idea, an ‘increased’ teacher salary would also be tied to these evaluations. Tiered licensure is bad for kids, taxpayers, and teachers.
Below is a quick synopsis of reasons why this is poor legislation, along with resources to better educate yourself and distribute to others.
Recently, I inquired to ISDE’s Director of Assessment and Accountability about Idaho’s recent decision to give the SBAC to sophomores this year instead of juniors; I thought this decision was problematic due to the fact that the SBAC includes questions from 11th grade Common Core Standards in both English Language Arts and Mathematics.
However, I was shocked during this exchange when the Director told me that the decision was due to the fact the state was worried students wouldn’t take the test seriously, and they didn’t want their data set tainted…because, you know, then the results wouldn’t be valid.
Idaho could benefit from examining the successful models of several States and hiring a professional grant writer and some technical experts who could better inform the development of a better-conceived application to fund the work that the State so desperately needs.
Such was the scathing critique by the US Department of Education when it rejected Idaho’s $21 million dollar grant request to develop Idaho’s big data longitudinal data collection system (Idaho System of Educational Excellence, or ISEE and its companion Schoolnet). Continue reading
You might be excused if you assumed the phrase “Ineffective human capital Investments” is a relic of a central planning communist Stalinesk era. After all, we would never assume to treat teachers, let alone students, as widgets mass produced on a national scale would we?
Yet, that is exactly not only the tone, but the message being sent by the latest National Governors Association guide to building a robotic, ahem human, workforce. Their latest report (you just can’t make this stuff up) is titled “A Governor’s Guide to Human Capital Development.”
Despite consistent criticism from educators around the state to tying compensation and certification to student growth as measured by standardized tests (SBAC), the Tiered Licensure Committee continues to insist that compensation and teacher certification be tied to student test scores.
A refresher, I emailed every member of both the technical advisory committee as well as the subcomittee about a month ago. To some members credit, including IEA President Penni Cyr and Superintendent Luna, I received a legitimate concerned response. However, it seems the bulk of the members declined to open a dialogue, and little (if any) of my concern–particularly to special education and English language learner students–made it into the discussion.
Recently my OpEd critiquing the logic of tying federal special education reimbursement dollars was published in the Idaho Press Tribune. As with its publication in Idaho Education News it was generally well received.
However, I did receive several messages from special education advocates arguing that special education students are capable of performing at academic proficiency and thus schools should be held accountable via Duncan’s plan to withhold the purse-strings of federal coffers for districts who are not proficient under revised guidelines for special education reimbursement.
The new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has been taking a lot of heat during the legislative session recently. District superintendents recently met with the State Department of Ed to push back against the test, and even a State Senator has been vocal about his opposition to the assessment.
Idahoans for Local Education recently launched an Opt Out movement for SBAC and ISAT in Idaho. Stephanie Zimmerman, point person on the project, listed the rationale for taking such an action including: Continue reading
By Mary Ollie
How many times have the terms, “k through career”, “prepare students to compete in a global economy”, and “college and career ready”, been associated with the high stakes test that are tied to the Common Core Standards? I’m trying to think of a time when I have not heard these mentioned together. Continue reading