New York’s Teacher of the Year testified to the State Senate Education Committee that the education evaluation system made it impossible for her to be rated “highly effective” because of the “dysfunctional implementation” of the Common Core standards.
Kathleen Ferguson, the New York State Teacher of the year, was also the teacher of the year in her school district, and has won several awards for excellence in teaching.
Yet, she told a Senate Education Committee hearing on the state’s new Common Core standards, under the new rules, even she could not score a rating of highly effective in the new teacher evaluations.
The reason, she said, is that her marks were based in part on student test scores. She teaches second graders with special needs, who are often behind the level of other children in their grade. But the new standards permit no exemptions for her students.
“This system does not make sense,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said her students were required to take pretests for almost the entire first month of school. The pre-tests are used to measure what students don’t know. They are used as a comparison for their performance on tests given at the end of the school year, after they have actually been taught the material. The test scores are then used as part of the new process of teacher evaluations required under terms of federal grants worth millions of dollars that the state has received.
At some point in the future, historians will look back on this era and remember it as a time of child abuse and teacher abuse by government diktat.