Jersey Jazzman warns that New Jersey’s new teacher evaluation plan is expensive, wasteful, inaccurate, and has no basis in research whatever. Other than that….it stinks.

In short, he calls it Operation Hindenburg, and if you don’t know about the Hindenburg, I suggest you google it. (Watch out, as the data miners will start offering you bargain deals on used blimps.)

New Jersey’s new teacher evaluation system — code name: Operation Hindenburg — is not cheap. Superintendents around the state have been warning us about this for a while: the costs of this inflexible system are going to impose a significant financial burden on districts, making this a wasteful, unfunded mandate.

JJ writes:

But if you don’t believe me, and you don’t believe these superintendents, why not listen to a couple of scholars who have produced definitive proof of the exorbitantly high costs of AchieveNJ:

In 2012, the New Jersey State Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act. This brief examines the following questions about the impact of this law:
• What is the effect of intensifying the teacher evaluation process on the time necessary for administrators to conduct observations in accordance with the new teacher evaluation regulations in New Jersey?
• In what ways do the demands of the new teacher evaluation system impact various types of school districts, and does this impact ameliorate or magnify existing inequities?
We find the following:
On average, the minimum amount of time dedicated solely to classroom observations will increase by over 35%. It is likely that the other time requirements for compliance with the new evaluation system, such as pre- and post-conferences, observation write- ups, and scheduling will increase correspondingly.
The new evaluation system is highly sensitive to existing faculty-to-administrator ratios, and a tremendous range of these ratios exists in New Jersey school districts across all operating types, sizes, and District Factor Groups. There is clear evidence that a greater burden is placed on districts with high faculty-to-administrator ratios by the TEACHNJ observation regulations. There is a weak correlation between per-pupil expenditures and faculty-to-administrator ratios.
The change in administrative workload will increase more in districts with a greater proportion of tenured teachers because of the additional time required for observations of this group under the new law.
The increased burden the TEACHNJ Act imposes on administrators’ time in some districts may compromise their ability to thoroughly and properly evaluate their teachers. In districts where there are not adequate resources to ensure administrators have enough time to conduct evaluations, there is an increased likelihood of substantive due process concerns in personnel decisions such as the denial or termination of tenure. [emphasis mine]

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