I try to be careful in terms of what I write and what I repost from readers. If readers express their personal experiences and strong views, I have no problem with that, and I never repost anything that uses epithets or goes beyond the bounds of civility or fair disagreement. If I err, it is not knowingly.
I just received a comment about Tennessee’s evaluation system and its provenance. This was in response to my post today about “legal fraud.” I would appreciate readers’ responses, not opinions, but citations and facts:
|TN bought TEAM/TAP, a teacher evaluation system from a Milken owned company called NIET. http://www.tapsystem.org/about/about.taf?page=nietbio_lmilken
The 1-5 scoring rubric met the requirement in Race to the Top to evaluate teachers with “objective” measures.The Milkens have been marketing TEAM/TAP since the mid 1990’s. If it is so effective, shouldn’t there be dozens of studies replicating its success? There are none. Peer-review constrains bad science and practices, and protects those from harm who are subjected to its application. It’s not an overstatement to say that, absent critical review, the TEAM evaluation can identify teaching quality about as well as rolling dice.
That the Milken family foundation has bypassed peer review and critical analysis and sold its “product” to the taxpayers is very curious. This use of our public funds deserves further scrutiny. Recall that co-founder Michael Milken is a convicted felon. Rudy Giuliani successfully prosecuted him for a massive fraud in 1989 that destroyed his company and cost the taxpayers millions in the ensuing cascade of savings and loan failures. Milken’s crimes were so egregious, president G.W. Bush refused to give him a presidential pardon. Caution and study here would seem wise. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/feb/03/business/fi-milken3
Outsourcing to contractors with a history of fraud has the potential to be a spectacular boondoggle. Our students will be the victims. Who will be held accountable?