|Here’s a good piece from Politico…
“The education world is scrambling to avoid its own version of a full-scale HealthCare.gov meltdown when millions of students pilot new digital Common Core tests this spring.
“Technological hiccups, much less large-scale meltdowns, won’t do: The results of the Common Core tests will influence teachers’ and principals’ evaluations and other decisions about their jobs. Schools will be rated on the results. Students’ promotion to the next grade or graduation from high school may hinge on their scores. And the already-controversial Common Core standards, designed to be tested using a new generation of sophisticated exams that go beyond multiple-choice testing, may be further dragged through the mud if there are crises…”
And in New York from the New York Times, a bumpy start for teacher evaluations…
“Over the 24 years Lily Din Woo has been the principal of Public School 130 in Lower Manhattan, her typical day changed very little: sick or misbehaving students, budgets, curriculum woes and meetings with parents, many of whom do not
“This year, however, she and the assistant principal are spending parts of each day darting in and out of classrooms, clipboards and iPads in hand, as they go over checklists for good teaching. Is the lesson clear? Is the classroom organized?
“All told, they will spend over two of the 40 weeks of the school year on such visits. The hours spent sitting with teachers to discuss each encounter and entering their marks into the school system’s temperamental teacher-grading database easily stretch to more than a month.
“‘At some point, something is just going to give,’ Ms. Woo, 62, said. ‘The observations are important, but so is counseling a troubled child or a family struggling to help their children at home.’
“All the added work was a result of a new teacher evaluation process that began in New York City this fall. A prime accomplishment of the education reform movement, the system — or versions of it — has been adopted in most states. It has been widely embraced, in theory, as an overdue improvement in the way teachers are measured…”