This is an unintentionally hilarious story in the New York Times.

Reformers are upset to discover that an astonishing proportion of teachers are getting high marks on the new evaluation systems that have just been set up. The evaluations were supposed to identify the best teachers (to get bonuses, even if no one has any money for bonuses) and most importantly to weed out the “bad” teachers who were causing so many students to get low test scores.

But look at these shocking statistics:

In Florida, 97 percent of teachers were deemed effective or highly effective in the most recent evaluations. In Tennessee, 98 percent of teachers were judged to be “at expectations.”

In Michigan, 98 percent of teachers were rated effective or better.

Advocates of education reform concede that such rosy numbers, after many millions of dollars developing the new systems and thousands of hours of training, are worrisome.

Needless to say, the National Council on Teacher Quality–whose board (as this blog knows well from the posts of Mercedes Schneider) includes such experienced teacher experts as Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, and Wendy Kopp–is upset.

So is the Brookings Institution expert Grover Whitehurst, who was in charge of the Bush administration’s education research. He says that any system that can’t find 5% ineffective teachers must be flawed.

Think of all the hoopla, not to mention the billions of dollars spent by Race to the Top, the Gates Foundation, the states, and the districts, and now what? Where did all those ineffective teachers go? Where are they hiding? Why can’t we find them?

Sort of feels like the T-shirt that says, “My grandma went to Miami and all I get was this lousy T-shirt.”

My government spent billions to find teachers to fire, and all we got was confusion.