Opt Out growing – Now decouple Common Core test from Teacher Evaluation Program

Parents across the nation are rising up against the Common Core testing scheme.  More than 200,000 parents in New York State have already stepped up and refused to allow their children to be abused by the unfair Common Core tests.  The number of opt-outs in New York could easily exceed a quarter of a million by next week.

Although Governor Dannel Malloy, his State Board of Education, most state legislators and the leadership of Connecticut’s two teacher unions are refusing to step forward and support Connecticut’s parents and children, the opt out effort is growing here as well.

As in New York, the Connecticut opt out effort will skyrocket after parents receive their children’s scores next summer and learn, first hand, just how inappropriate and discriminatory the Common Core test really is.

As parents are slowly coming understand, the Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium SBAC testing program is intentionally designed to fail the vast majority of children, including a projected failure rate of over 90 percent for students requiring special education services and those that aren’t fluent in the English language.

The Common Core SBAC pass/fail rate is so rigged that 3 in 4 African American and Latino children will likely fail the 8th grade English/Language Arts portion of the SBAC test and the failure rate for 8th grade math will exceed 80 percent for African American and Latino children.

What most parents still don’t understand is that the gross absurdity of the Common Core SBAC test is the fact that not only is it designed to fail students but under Governor Malloy’s “Teacher Evaluation Program,” the twisted results are to be used to “judge’ teachers.

Governor Malloy’s corporate education reform initiative included a new mandated teacher evaluation program.  According to the propaganda produced by Malloy’s State Department of Education;

“Excellent schools begin with great school leaders and teachers. The importance of highly-skilled educators is beyond dispute…”

[…]

“The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is committed to raising the overall quality of our schools’ workforce….”

[…]

“Educator evaluation is the cornerstone of this holistic approach and contributes to the improvement of individual and collective practice. High-quality evaluations are necessary to inform the individualized professional development and support that an educator may require. Such evaluations also identify professional strengths which should form the basis of new professional opportunities. High-quality evaluations are also necessary to make fair employment decisions based on teacher and leader effectiveness. Used in this way, high-quality evaluations will bring greater accountability and transparency to schools and instill greater confidence in employment decisions across the state…”

The term “high-quality” evaluation is repeated over and over and over again by Connecticut’s State Department of Education.

But in reality the Connecticut State Department of Education’s “Teacher Evaluation Program” is anything but high quality.

The Connecticut State Department of Education explains,

“Informed by research, including the Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) study … [The Gates Foundation is the major force behind the Common Core and Common Core testing]… Connecticut’s System for Educator Evaluation and Development (SEED) is a model evaluation and support system that is aligned to the Connecticut Guidelines for Educator Evaluation (Core Requirements), which were adopted by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) in 2012 and revised in 2014…”

However, what the rhetoric skips over is that reality that foundation of Connecticut teacher evaluation system actually uses the faulty Common Core SBAC test scores.

The Malloy administration’s “teacher evaluation program” is based on the following factors:

Student learning (45%),

Teacher performance and practice (40%),

Parent feedback (10%)

School-wide student learning or student feedback (5%)

The formula looks reasonable enough until one learns that half of the “Student Learning” portion of the evaluation system is derived from the Common Core SBAC tests meaning that all Connecticut teachers, no matter how good they are, will be punished because the Common Core tests intentionally define the majority of students as failure.

Teachers who work in urban and poorer communities, those that work with students of color, those that work with English language learners and those that teach students with special education needs will be especially punished under the new teacher evaluation system.

Imagine, instead of developing a teacher evaluation program that is actually designed to evaluate teachers, Connecticut’s elected and appointed officials have concocted a bureaucratic nightmare that relies on the untried, untested and faulty Common Cores SBAC tests results.

The new teacher evaluation program is only absurd and unfair but counterproductive because it will produce a disincentive to work in more challenging districts and with more challenging student populations.

The fact is Connecticut’s elected officials; the teacher unions and all who believe in public education should be doing far more to support parents who are opting their children out of the Common Core testing.

And equally important, those same people and groups should be de-couple the teacher evaluation program from the Common Core tests and demand that the Connecticut State Department of Education develop a fair, appropriate and effective teacher evaluation programs.

Good teacher evaluation programs exist; there are even experts in Connecticut who have developed outstanding models that could and should be utilized in Connecticut’s school districts.

The powers that be need to stop the Common Core testing madness before they do even more damage to our children, our teachers and our public education system.

  • buygoldandprosper

    “LAS VEGAS – Technical problems continue for Nevada’s Common Core testing a week after a malfunction first halted the federally-mandated assessment process.
    Last week, testing was stopped in Nevada, Montana and North Dakota after a widespread system crash with New Hampshire-based Measured Progress”

  • cindy

    In the past, CT had a fine framework for observing teachers which they have also distorted by using Charlotte Danielson (at first) followed by another multi-page rubric on which to base an evaluation. Administrators now have to script (or hire others to script) evidence as it is emitted from a teacher’s mouth, and “observations” such as “student rolling their eyes” which can then be used as evidence to substantiate an ineffective classroom climate, or some other degrading comment.

    Many teachers could look at the 45% test score added to the 40% observation, observe their class on day one, and be pretty sure they will fail the teacher eval for the year. Parents would be sick to know how much time is NOT spent teaching to get this nonsense done. But alas, we have complicit BOE members who don’t represent families at all, and allow this to happen. One would think the BOE members have some alternative motive, or conflict of interest to NOT tell parents.

    The next thing all parents should ask is this: Exactly WHAT is the role of a local Board of Education? As “elected” members of a school system, exactly HOW do they represent the interests of those who voted them in? Should parents ask for “conflict of interest” or disclosure forms from BOE members?

    It is getting very close to a class-action lawsuit against BOE members, and the amount of dollars they fraudulently (intentionally or not) mismanaged, at the expense of our children’s one and only childhood, and how they diverted them from having a real, developmentally appropriate education.

    • Sleepless in Bridgeport

      In Bridgeport they take conflicts of interest to new heights. Hernan Illingsworth leading the BOE’s charge to uniforms (Selling of same is his full time job by the way). Or Holy Moly who carries a get out of jail free card compliments of Bill Finch and Dannel Malloy. How about the $10,000 of loans to build his fortress, how about the illegal day care business. Who knows how much money he made pimping for Paul Vallas? Or his incessant preening for his charter school buddies like Stevie Wonder Perry and Dr. Sharpe (Where is he now?). How about his support of the principal who tried to reinvest Dunbar’s fund raising monies at Foxwood?

  • thingfishp

    There will be a demonstration in opposition to the use of the SBAC as part of teacher evaluation at the Capital on May 12 at 5 pm.

    • Bill Morrison

      This needs to be LOUDLY broadcasted!

    • cindy

      Waste of town tax dollars extraordinaire – This spells it out. Teachers, figure out your ratings now:

      • Sleepless in Bridgeport

        Utter dog doo. And meanwhile Malloy’s Charters evaluation consists of “What are you drinking?” How much did you lose at Foxwood last night?” “Did you remember to kiss Perry’s ring?” Did you cash your paycheck yet?” “Did you get the phone number of the babe in 3C?”
        Certification………we don’t need no stinkin certification!