Thursday, February 23, 2012

TDRs To Be Released Friday

EDIT: TDRs will be released Friday, not today, as previously reported.

The only question about today's release of Teacher Data Reports for 12,500 teachers is: Who will get the data out first? While the teacher-bashing Post would seem a good bet, New York Times Schoolbook seems to be straining at the leash, with up-to-the-minute coverage and even a place where teachers can add comments to their numbers.

I'm sending kudos out to GothamSchools, which, as far as I can tell, is the only news outlet refusing to release the data. That's merely a gesture, of course, because the data will be plastered everywhere. Nevertheless, I thank them for their journalistic integrity in this matter for refusing to join the teacher shaming parade.

In a real twist, even Bill Gates came out in favor of teachers today, with an op-ed in the Times calling for the city to use whatever data they have to help teachers rather than publicly humiliate us in the papers. How bad have things gotten when Bill Gates is the person defending teachers?

I've already discussed my numbers and the reasons I believe they are garbage, so I won't go into that here. But I would like to send a word out to my colleagues:

Don't get obsessed with your numbers. You know how hard you work. And only you know the challenges that your particular population of students presented to you. If you know that you're doing your best for your kids, that's what should matter. Don't let the bullies at Tweed define you. Teaching is an incredibly challenging and complex profession, and most of us in this city are doing wonders every day under far less than ideal circumstances with minimal support. Bloomberg wouldn't last a day in your classroom, nor would most of those people who bash us on a regular basis.

Be proud. Your reward is in the faces of your students when they comprehend something for the first time. Nothing in your TDR can offset that.


Norm said...

Bill Gates and Wendy Kopp and E4E are all objecting to the release because someone will do a study and find that the class of more senior teachers  as a whole will do better than the newbies they are all pushing and will actually reaffirm LIFO.

Mr. A. Talk said...

I never thought of that, Norm. You may be right. I do recall, though, that teachers with 1, 2, or 3 years of experience were compared only with teachers with the same number of years. Teachers with four or more years were all lumped together. I don't know if there's any way to extract the data of newbies vs. senior teachers, but if there is, I'd love to see it.

Invictus said...

 But knowing how spineless they are, they will hide their member's ineptitude in the "flawed" system that the evaluation system uses, much like the great majority of people that have been condemning the validity of such test. 

BTW, does anyone know what the media outlets will do when slander suits begin to pile in after the info is released?  Opportunism and shoddy sensationalist journalism used simply to score some interest in the short run but permanently damaging what little credibility these outlets have left (especially the NYTimes.)