I am reporting this because I forgot to include the link. As readers of this blog know (and hopefully forgive), I sometimes forget but always try to rectify.

Gary Rubinstein closely examined the report written by The New Teacher Report about teacher retention in DC and found it to be deeply flawed.

Aside from the obvious conflict of interest inherent in an evaluation of DC schools by an organization previously run by Chancellors Rhee and Kaya Henderson, the report itself says nothing useful about the reforms it claims to appraise.

First, the report shows that teachers in low-poverty schools get higher ratings than those in high-poverty schools. Either the school system has been assigning its worst teachers to high-poverty schools, or the evaluation system favors those who teach in low-poverty schools.

Rubinstein concludes that Rhee’s IMPACT system favors those who teach in low-poverty schools. He wonders, “Why would anyone want to stay in a high poverty school in D.C. and miss out on the bonus pay and promotions that are available to 42% of the teachers in the low poverty schools?” What teacher would be so foolish as to choose to teach in a high-needs school where the odds of failing and being fired are high?

The great irony of the TNTP report, he points out, “is that TNTP and TFA train many of the teachers who work at these high poverty schools so this statistic that there are so few high performing teachers at these schools (just 11%) is in stark contrast with their PR about how good the new teachers are. It seems that the TNTP and TFA teachers are getting low IMPACT ratings.”

Rubinstein says that this paper “would not survive any sort of peer review process. The main conclusion they try to make is obvious and meaningless. Much more important is the repeated suggestion that the system by which the evaluations are made is skewed to benefit the teachers who teach at the schools with the fewest needs.”