Children who can't read or do math OK by Seattle teachers union
The Seattle Times reports this morning that the Seattle teachers union refuses to allow the district to evaluate teachers in part on student academic growth, measured by test scores. They say evaluating teachers based in part on student test scores is unfair.
Contract talks are at an impasse. Teachers are scheduled to vote on the contract on Thursday, September 2nd.
Union leadership remains true to form, resisting any change which threatens their control over education policy. The union refuses to require teachers to show that they are effective at raising student achievement, as this would introduce the concept of teacher performance into collective bargaining agreements---too much of a change from the past.
The past contract, which we have reviewed extensively here, has resulted in abysmal student test results on the WASL in Seattle. One-quarter of students cannot read at grade level and nearly half cannot do math at grade level--take a look at these scores for Seattle from the OSPI website. No wonder only 63% of Seattle's students graduate on time. No wonder less than half of Seattle's minority students graduate on time.
The most important factor for student learning is the quality of the teacher. The Seattle teachers union, by clinging to past practices, is being unfair to Seattle's students.
Teachers unions across the nation are accepting pressure to change and altering their collective bargaining agreements to allow teacher evaluations based in part on improving student achievement, on tests. The time has arrived to embrace change---change we all believe in---a better future for Seattle students.
2008-09 WASL Results (Administration Info)