Regular readers may have noticed a flurry–one might say–a deluge of comments by a reader who signs as “Virginiasgp.” SGP stands for “student growth percentiles.” He believes with a religious fervor in student growth measures for evaluating teachers. He also says that he has worked in the U.S. Navy on a submarine. Another reader who signs as “NY Teacher” offered Virginiasgp some ideas about the deficiencies of test scores for teacher evaluation:


Apparently you think it’s a great idea to run public schools like the Navy runs its nuclear submarine fleet. Well thanks for the inspiration man. You really are a hoot-n-a-half on this. Shear genius. Now let’s take your fantabulous idea and put it to work for the Navy.
Don’t worry, I am highly qualified to help the US Navy mainly because I have zero experience with nuclear submarines. At least we’re square on the experience piece. Well, here goes – my suggestion . . . no, make that my insistence!


We must run the Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet just like a high needs, impoverished urban, Title 1 public school. As chief submarine Officer, please understand that there will be a few simple changes to protocol.


1) Your evaluation will be based on the ability of you and your crew to navigate a detailed, three dimensional attack course. You evaluation will be based on precision of tracking , speed and acceleration control, and stealth. Numerical data will be assigned to each of these three variables. I’ll even give you one of the newly commissioned, Virginia class ( SSN-774) nuclear-powered fast attack submarines. Seems appropriate Virginia.


2) Your crew will consist, instead of the usual adult Navy volunteers, 7th and 8th grade students from the worst performing middle school in the Bronx. Don’t worry, we will give them the same 5 week crash course that a TFAer would get and – you get to teach them! The U.S. Naval Submarine School New London in Groton CT works for me.
As the chief submarine Officer you must ensure that all systems run smoothly. That means you are responsible for your crew of youngsters and their jobs:


1) Operating a nuclear reactor and nuclear propulsion system
2) Maintaining on board weapons systems
3) Managing atmosphere control and fire control
4) Driving the vessel and charting its position
5) Operating communications and intelligence equipment


FYI/Heads Up:
On any given day or at any given moment, any one or more of your teenage crew may . . .
Be highly distracted and completely inattentive
Refuse to follow orders
Give you the one finger salute
Text and snap chat incessantly while on duty
Be very loud and boisterous
Ask permission to go to the bathroom – every 40 min.
Fight and argue with each other
Argue with you
Sleep on the job
Be absent from duty – some chronically
Disrupt crew meetings
Report for duty under the influence of illegal substances
Express their inner drama queen
Hang out in small groups and completely ignore you
Frequently exhibit silly, irrational, or bizarre behaviors
Forget most of what you taught them in the 5 week’r
Laugh when you yell at them
Stick chewing gum into electronic ports
Complain incessantly


Kind of tickles your innards knowing that your Naval career rests on the whims of a crew of mostly dysfunctional adolescents, doesn’t it?