Here’s a telling bit of information from Linda Borg’s Providence Journal article on new federal law related to public school improvement:
The revised law also eliminates a contentious part of teacher evaluations. NCLB [No Child Left Behind] required that teacher evaluations include student improvement over time, based on test scores. Rhode Island never implemented this part of the law after considerable push-back from teachers and unions.
Let that one data point act as a stand-in for Rhode Island public education generally. Why are results stagnant or deteriorating? Because teachers and unions won’t let them improve unless it can be done without harming their financial and political advantages. Simple as that. And now, the federal government has nationalized that principle. Consider:
Now, school districts will be asked to look at such issues as how districts are retaining teachers and recruiting minority candidates, Snider said.
Judgment of schools will not be based on whether they are producing measurable effects for their students, but whether they are making their teachers happy and pursuing progressive social re-engineering. Nationally, now, the most important thing about public education is not actually education, but benefits for an adult political constituency. That’s a travesty, and it has been a travesty in Rhode Island for decades.