Monday, July 20, 2015

Is Attack on Tenure Really Just a Push for Teacher Evaluation Based on Student Test Scores?

In The Constitutional Challenge to Tenure, I spend an extended amount of time evaluating the merits of teacher evaluation systems that rely on students' standardized test scores work.  This might appear to some as a digression, but the the attacks on tenure are premised on the assumption that these new evaluation systems can tell us who needs to be fired.  If only it were so.  Thus far, these evaluation systems have proven speculative and unreliable.  Yet elevating the prominence of teacher evaluation systems would appear to be a primary goal of the movement.

Last week, the advocates and attorneys who brought us Vergara v. California made this more obvious.  They filed a second lawsuit to force sixteen California school districts to do more to evaluate their teachers based on students' test scores.  They argue that collective bargaining agreements in those districts are prohibiting the districts from evaluating teachers in accordance with state statute.  The complaint is here.

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