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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Now that the testing EO has come out, the big question is what will DCPS do?

 If the past is prologue, the answer to that question is the opposite of what is right. They will still use the tests to bludgeon teachers and save money. Who wants to make a bet what they will do?

First, some random thoughts.

Executive orders from the state diminish the power of localities. They make Corcoran a de facto king of education. That wouldn't be a good thing even if we had a reasoned educator in charge instead of the jackbooted noneducator thug we currently have. 

We should all oppose high-stakes testing as it is currently done. Is there a need for an assessment? Sure, but what we have is punitive accountability on steroids that isn't meant to help. It's meant to harm. Greene and presumably the board's full-throated embrace of them is beyond troubling. 

Despite months of telegraphing waivers for the tests were coming, the district spent weeks cajoling families to return and watched up the stress level of students and staff alike, and for what? It's my thought Greene can taste that A grade and is willing to walk over the bodies of teachers and students to get it. Anybody paying attention could have told you this day was coming, but that didn't slow Greene's roll in the least.

Now that the executive order is here, the high stakes features for students and schools are waived, but the ones for teachers are not, sort of, kind of, it's a bit unclear. 


 The order also:

  • Allows local school districts to decide if and how they’ll use VAM data for student test scores as part of a teacher’s evaluation.

So, where districts are basically required to not use the tests for promotion graduation etc., they still have the option of using them to evaluate teachers, which makes less sense than normal. Kids all over the set are sighing in relief and rightfully so, great for them, but this also means the tests will become less of a priority which will, in turn, affect test scores more than they already would have. Let's not forget there is a pandemic raging, though Greene and the Board seemingly have.  

This means the big question is, what will DCPS do? Though if the past is prologue, we already know.

DCPS should immediately announce they will not use VAM scores to evaluate teachers. Taking that off their plates and doing the right thing. 

To read the executive order, click the link:

1 comment:

  1. I know this came down late Friday but maybe Emily Bloch from the TU could cover this from a teacher's perspective?