New York won $700 million in Race to the Top funding, which involved a commitment to measure teacher effective meant in significant part by test scores of their students. This theory, which Arne Duncan has imposed on the nation’s schools by using federal funds as a lure, has not worked anywhere. It has failed everywhere. Its main consequence is to demoralize teachers, like the one who wrote this comment:
“I am sick to my stomach over this APPR plan in NY. I just received my score, and I am two points away from being “effective” as a teacher. I scored 58/60 on my instructional practices which is effective. I scored effective on my local measurement, and I scored developing on my state measurement which was the ELA 7th grade exam.
“My students, as well as many others, tanked on the exam, so because of that, I am now a teacher who has to have an improvement plan. What should my plan include? More test prep? Teaching kids how to bubble in circles?
“This whole plan is absurd. I know I make a difference in children’s lives. This testing obsession is ruining education, our children, and our teachers. I come in early, leave late, work at home, volunteer for a million things, and yet am now deemed developing by some politically driven evaluation plan.
“Cuomo should come in and do what I do on a daily basis. He would get eaten alive. I’m actually questioning whether I can teach for the next 20 years. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, but this APPR garbage is effectively forcing out some of the best teachers I’ve worked with. I may be next.”