Archive for Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gov. Brownback’s plan to post teachers’ rankings causes outcry; GOP senator describes plan as ‘toxic’

January 26, 2012, 5:10 p.m. Updated January 26, 2012, 7:23 p.m.

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— Gov. Sam Brownback has formally introduced his 138-page school finance overhaul, and it includes a provision that Brownback officials had not discussed before publicly: a proposal to evaluate teachers, partly based on student achievement, and post their rankings on the Internet.

That plan received a rough welcome on Thursday from several Republican and Democratic legislators and the Kansas National Education Association.

State Sen. Jean Kurtis Schodorf, R-Wichita, and chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, described the evaluation proposal as “pretty toxic.”

She noted the Kansas Department of Education was already working on a new model aimed at providing uniformity across the state in evaluating school personnel. That program is being tried in several school districts.

Brownback’s plan would require school districts to adopt teacher evaluations that would be based 50 percent on student performance on state assessments, 40 percent on input from supervisors, peers, parents and students, and 10 percent on the employees’ contribution to the profession.

Teachers would be graded as either highly effective, effective, progressing or ineffective. And the evaluations would be posted on a website.

Brownback has proposed providing $5,000 bonuses to employees rated as highly effective. For those deemed ineffective, school districts would be encouraged to provide professional development. And districts could terminate anyone scoring ineffective for two straight years. Students could not be taught by teachers ranked as ineffective for two consecutive years.

“Including input from parents and families in the evaluation process will encourage more meaningful engagement between educators and students’ families,” said Jon Hummell, director of operations for Brownback.

“It is also important for parents to have confidence their child is receiving a quality education. Therefore, this legislation would require that each educator’s rating be posted on a website designated by the school district that is accessible to the parents of the students enrolled in the district,” he said.

But placing teacher evaluations on a website will only hinder efforts by teachers to improve and the work of administrators who are trying to make personnel decisions, said Mark Desetti, a lobbyist with the Kansas National Education Association.

He added that teachers already feel under attack because of pay issues, cuts in school funding, proposed changes to their pensions and increased health insurance costs.

“This is strictly punitive and harmful,” Desetti said of Brownback’s plan.

The evaluation proposal is included in Brownback’s legislation to overhaul the school finance system. Brownback wants to remove state limits on local funding of schools and eliminate the current system of using “weights” that divvies up extra funding for special needs of students.

Schodorf said she would probably divide Brownback’s bill into four measures. She said the best way to get things passed is to keep legislation as simple as possible. Brownback’s education bill, she said, “Probably sets the record for moving parts.”

Comments

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 7 months ago

Brownback is more about punishment than anything else.

I have no problem with this system of evaluation or even its remedies. It is a dose of evaluation and feedback that is sorely needed.

But posting these evaluations publically is simply punitive.

Maybe, those who agree to it can have them published.

Paul Wilson 3 years, 7 months ago

What about the teachers at the top? I'm sure they have no problem being recognized as such. It's only punitive if you're at the bottom.....don't be at the bottom. (said in my best Geico commercial voice).

parrothead8 3 years, 7 months ago

The problem is that there is no accurate way to measure a teacher's performance. Knowledge is not a quantifiable product. Sure, you can test students, but you're only testing them on a set of facts that someone has decided they should know. If one kid had too much sugar at breakfast, and another is upset about mom and dad getting in a fight that morning, and another can't stop thinking about the present he wants for his upcoming birthday...well, do those distracted test scores now reflect on the teacher? Yes.

Alexander Smith 3 years, 7 months ago

Also, there is a major flaw. What about the teachers that have to work in schoold districts were there are poor, crime, and lots of domestic issues? They may have a great teacher but do to the lot of kids who do not care, don't want to learn, perform not so well because of factor beyond their control. The teacher can't force their parents to raise their kids in a way that makethem more edcuational focused. That teacher ends up being on the end of the list but in reality the teacher is very good and is doing their best.

Also, if the review is based on numbers, teacher with the right access to resources and 'program' their students to do well on certain tests. The end state is if the kid is 'outside' the program the will do poorly but the state will never see this.

They also need to have peer review and student review of the teacher. I believe they call it a 360 review system that your top 100 corporations used to check performance. Going just by the numbers is a VERY bad policy. Numbers can LIE and numbers do not show reality.

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

The flaw is precisely the problem with reliance on test scores. Those kids are the kids who weigh down the averages and really need the most help. We disincentivize teaching them with ratings systems like this.

The only think this incentivizes is cheating on the test. Just ask Michelle Rhee. Oh right, she won't tell you about that. Oopsies.

patkindle 3 years, 7 months ago

if i was a poor teacher and just in it for the 180 days, i would not want my grade posted, if i was a good teacher, but not popular i wouldnt be too crazy about public postings i doubt if the other teachers have a problem with publication

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

If I was a good teacher in a poor district, I wouldn't want my ratings posted. If I was a popular teacher and didn't want to be blackmailed, I wouldn't want my ratings posted. If I was a teacher, I wouldn't want my ratings posted.

TinmanKC 3 years, 7 months ago

Let's base the salaries of the governor's staff on public polls.

Eric Neuteboom 3 years, 7 months ago

Love it! What's good for the goose, right?

Jan Rolls 3 years, 7 months ago

I thought I was imaginng things but this guy is out of his mind. He better enjoy it because he is P***ing off eveyone in the state and he will never get elected.

KS 3 years, 7 months ago

Didn't upset me. I think it is a great idea. About time.

Bob Forer 3 years, 7 months ago

I am simply astonished. It seems like every couple of weeks brownie floats another draconian policy initiative.

Folks it ain't gonna stop until he is out of office.

average 3 years, 7 months ago

I remember 5 or so years back when lower-economic-status districts were pretty desperate for licensed non-molesting warm bodies. It can be pretty hard to fill slots in really rural areas, even when the schools are mostly okay. There's been some abeyance of that problem recently (between layoffs and people licensed to teach applying for positions after years away), but it's still not easy for math and science. I don't think the scarlet letter method is going to make it any easier to fill those classrooms in a few years.

The problem with 'fire the bad teachers' is that (most years) there isn't some deep magic pool of super teachers drooling over the $38k salary who are working at Walmart waiting for the callup. Principals and supers really were looking for the best candidate they could get at the time for the job (since they've always been judged on it), and the teachers we have are the best they could get.

gudpoynt 3 years, 7 months ago

"The problem with 'fire the bad teachers' is that (most years) there isn't some deep magic pool of super teachers drooling over the $38k salary, waiting for the callup"

+1

aryastark1984 3 years, 7 months ago

Why would ANYONE in this day and age want to be a teacher? 1) Larger and larger class sizes, 2) Increased pressure to improve tests scores despite the fact that everyone with a brain knows that it would be impossible to have 100% of students achieve AYP goals AND despite the fact that larger class sizes make it much more difficult to do your job. 3) An increasing number of kids whose families are under severe economic stress, so it is harder for the kids to achieve 4) Increased tuition costs (caused by reduced state funding for education) 5) Low to moderate salaries 6) Increasing disrespect for teachers in the public discourse.

Why in the world would the cream of the crop choose teaching as a profession?

average 3 years, 7 months ago

It looks like one of those 'looks good' bills that might pass. Then become useless in the implementation. When districts don't want to fire teachers (expensive, hard to find replacements, and the replacements aren't likely to be much better or stay in the profession for long) or look bad, expect 90-95% of the teachers to come out as 'effective' or 'highly effective'. Then, when half the teachers are eligible for bonuses, the legislature will welch on the payout.

KS 3 years, 7 months ago

You want him and the rest of us to fund it? He/we should have some say. You know, it is sort of like when you were living at home. Play by your parents rules or move out. Find another funding source.

KS 3 years, 7 months ago

And just how would you suggest that we pay for eveything? Just keep raising taxes? If you are going to dance to the music, you have to pay the fiddler. The public education system is broke and has been for years. Give folks a choice and the system will take care of itself. They will clean up their act or shut down.

question4u 3 years, 7 months ago

Brownback plan to improve education in Kansas:

Step 1: reduce funding for public education Step 2: eliminate pension and replace witha 401(k) Step 3: rate teachers and post their ratings online.

Soon Kansas should be overflowing with the best teachers in the nation, all of them lining up for the chance to teach in Kansas schools!

Hint to Sam: Anyone who is dumber than Rick Perry is never going to become president.

kochmoney 3 years, 7 months ago

Don't forget step 4: give money to under supervised private corporations to run charter schools and then pretend that the fraudulent ones you have to close are just a few bad apples.

gudpoynt 3 years, 7 months ago

and step 5: increase prevalence of public school funding from local property taxes allowing rich districts to prosper while poorer districts stagnate

gudpoynt 3 years, 7 months ago

and step 6: when the state is repeatedly sued for underfunding public education, against constitutional mandate, change the law so that can't happen anymore.

gudpoynt 3 years, 7 months ago

The deal is this: The right wingers in Brownback's camp have been convinced for quite a while that public education is a failure, and private education is a much better alternative.

So their overall goals are significant policy changes that shift the responsibility of education from the public sector to the private. But before they can do that, they need to get a significant population of the constituency to support them.

So how do they do this? So far, the Brownback administration, along with other conservative administrations around the country, have adopted the following strategy:

Step 1: Frame the debate as public education vs. economic success. Then you can make the argument that cuts to public education, while they may be undesirable, are necessary to preserve an economic environment that is sufficiently business friendly and capable of growth.

Step 2: Frame the debate as public educators vs. taxpayers. Then you can make the argument that teacher's don't deserve the benefits they currently enjoy, when the rest of the tax base is suffering as much as they are. Sorry teachers, you've been on easy street for too long.

Step 3: Once you win a few hearts and minds using arguments (1) and (2) you can feel more comfortable moving forward with funding cuts, resulting in larger class sizes, fewer educators, lower wages, and less frequent upgrades of supplies and equipment, and a variety of other factors that are known to negatively affect the quality of education for students.

Step 4: Again, with successful use of arguments (1) and (2), you can further reduce or eliminate the power of teachers unions (or other outside parties) to challenge and/or reverse any policy changes made in step (3).

Step 5: Once funding has been cut significantly, and has demonstrably resulted in poorer and poorer results, arguments from (1) and (2) become much easier, and subsequently further actions similar to those from (3) and (4) are met with less and less resistance.

After a a few years of this (Brownback is hoping for less than 8), when both funding and performance of public education are at record lows, convincing a majority of voters to support drastic changes in education policy becomes super easy, because nearly everybody agrees that the system that was designed to suck, genuinely sucks.

Voting parents, fed up with abysmal performances, will get on board with policies that favor private education, assuming that it will result in a better quality of education than the public system has to offer after having been de-funded and neglected for the past X-number of years.

For instance, state issued vouchers to attend private schools -- even religious ones.

So there you have it. What we have going on in Kansas is classic political sabotage of a public program by free market capitalists, who think the private alternative would be better.

punchee 3 years, 7 months ago

Right. Don't forget that vouchers will only get you into crap schools. To get into a real school, you'll need vouchers + $. Class warfare, indeed.

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

It's a variation of the same "starve the beast" strategy they've been using nationally. Cut taxes to force funding cuts, and then use the resulting cuts in services to claim that government doesn't work. Wash, rinse, repeat.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 7 months ago

When Brownback went to law school, where in his class did he finish? If he's up front with that information, then I don't see the problem with the teachers. If his information is private, so should the information about the teachers.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Except that his choosing to share that is significantly different than requiring the teachers' information be published.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 7 months ago

Is that type of information made public, that's my point. If I can find out if person "A" finished #1 in his/her law school class or medical school class and I can find out who finished last in their class, then I might feel that how teachers perform should be equally public.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 7 months ago

What do you call the person who finishes last in his class in medical school? Doctor.

verity 3 years, 7 months ago

But (s)he was not last in their class in high school or college, and they had to work pretty hard while they were in medical school. Even the last in their class still did pretty damn good.

captainzeep 3 years, 7 months ago

George Carlin quote: Somewhere in the world is the world's worst doctor. And what's truly terrifying is that someone has an appointment with him tomorrow morning."

voevoda 3 years, 7 months ago

Not only is the posting of such private personnel information intrusive (and perhaps illegal), the method Brownback proposes to use to assess teachers is deeply flawed. It bases 50% of the teacher's evaluation on the performance of students on the standardized tests, putting the dedicated teachers who work with learning-impaired students at risk to their careers. It bases an unknown percentage on "input from parents and students," making it easy for them to destroy a teacher's career because she or he has high standards, gives too much homework, or assigns a controversial book. Talented teachers would flee from Kansas under such a plan.

LisaGreenwood 3 years, 7 months ago

What about the half of our certified teaching staff whose content area is not on a standardized state test? Library Media Specialists, Counselors, Art/Drama/Music/Business/Tech/FACS/PE - where does the 50% of our evaluation come from??? Someone didn't think this one through...

LisaGreenwood 3 years, 7 months ago

...and Foreign Language? Special Education teachers? Guess we'll all just have to work on being popular since our pedagogical skills are not important to the Governor. Oh, that's right...part of the plan even says that if you know science, technology, or math you don't have to know HOW to teach if you want to be a teacher. Yeah, that's going to improve the state of public education in Kansas.

kochmoney 3 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, Sped teachers. 50% of your pay is now based on how well your students do on standardized tests. I'm sure you'll manage to pull a rabbit out of the hat on that one. Good luck on keeping those positions staffed.

LisaGreenwood 3 years, 7 months ago

...and Foreign Language? Special Education teachers? Guess we'll all just have to work on being popular since our pedagogical skills are not important to the Governor. Oh, that's right...part of the plan even says that if you know science, technology, or math you don't have to know HOW to teach if you want to be a teacher. Yeah, that's going to improve the state of public education in Kansas.

ahoey 3 years, 7 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. And subjects that are only tested periodically, every three years or so, like science and social studies. At the secondary level, it will primarily apply to math and English teachers. Or maybe all the teachers will be rated based on the students math and reading scores even if the teacher is teaching the student PE.

KSManimal 3 years, 7 months ago

"all the teachers will be rated based on the students math and reading scores even if the teacher is teaching the student PE."

That's exactly what's happening in other states which have right-wingnut-ALEC-puppets at the helm....

windex 3 years, 7 months ago

Standardized test results? How does he propose to assess the... Speech therapists Librarians Special Education teachers Counselors Social Workers P.E. teachers Music teachers Art teachers Etc, etc, etc.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 7 months ago

He won;t have to evaluate the music ans art teachers, Those will be automatically defunded.

tomatogrower 3 years, 7 months ago

Exactly. So how is that smally government thingy working out for ya? How can conservatives keep a straight face when they claim they are for smaller government? I wonder if he'll hire someone from Florida or Texas this time to run the program? Which campaign supporter needs a job for an incompetent relative? I'll bet Brownback pays him 6 figures.

lawrencechick 3 years, 7 months ago

I hope there will also be a ranking of parents since they are 90% responsible for how their children perform in school.

voevoda 3 years, 7 months ago

Posted on line, too! Based 50% on how well their children do in school, 40% on the bosses, co-workers, teachers, and principals, and 10% on their contributions to their community. (Contributions to political campaigns don't count.)

StirrrThePot 3 years, 7 months ago

+1 lawrencechick

All I could think of when I read the part about parental/family feedback was, oh great, so the parents who do very little, believe their child is faultless and brilliant, and are the first in line to complain when their child is disciplined even slightly will be able to weigh in and give their misled, biased opinions about their kids' teachers. AWESOME.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 7 months ago

My sainted aunt who used to work in the school system told me once that when you have a problem child in school, you can usually see the problem when you meet the parents.

wastewatcher 3 years, 7 months ago

We must all be reminded that Senator/ Education Committee Chair Shodorf is employed by the Wichita school district and probably is a member of the KNEA. I wonder why the reported did not mention this in the article? Draw your own conclusions about her objectivity.

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

We must all be reminded that our governor is employed by Koch donations. Draw your own conclusions about his objectivity.

tcohen 3 years, 7 months ago

My wife teaches in an urban district with a highly transient population-- she has students coming and going weekly for a variety of reasons. Few students will be in her class for the entire year. There is high absenteeism, something she has no control over, and and she has students who will only show up for two minutes of class. (By state law, they must be counted as if they attended school all day long) About 20 percent of her class time this year will be spent preparing for or taking tests, thus she is supposed to make progress with less than a full school year of instructional time, and most students will actually experience far less. A student may enroll in her class a week before an assessment, take the test, and his or her score will be on my wife's class record as if she has had that student in class all year. I know my wife is a highly effective teacher despite the circumstances. She puts her heart and soul (and her own time and resources) into the job. But the current arbitrary nature of measuring "progress" in education, completely divorced from the reality in today's schools, will never reflect that. And Brownback's ignorant proposal will only anger and demoralize her, and encourage her and teachers like her to leave the profession.

guesswho 3 years, 7 months ago

Your wife is a true public servant; unfortunately that term is becoming an insult rather then someone who is forgoing a higher salary to work in an area that is for the public good. For all of your reasons stated, plus the fact that a teacher would be graded on what previous teachers/parents/society/genetics did or did not do, the governor's plan is quite simply, terrible.

kugrad 3 years, 7 months ago

Hmm. As a teacher working in a really low income neighborhood with a lot of racial diversity, maybe I should transfer to a better part of town where the kids grow up with all the advantages, come to school ready to learn, and don't have to deal with being homeless, hungry, and all the many factors that put them at risk. That way I won't be rated ineffective when factors beyond my control influence the 50% of my rating based on test scores. Then again, maybe I should stay in the low income area and raise future leaders to know better than our current Governor. Hopefully you get my point - evaluations based on test results are bound to fail.

BTW, did you know researchers have proven that test score data cannot be used to differentiate good teachers from poor teachers due to a variety of factors, not the least of which is that the makeup of their classes (ability) changes yearly? True!

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

And yet, there should/must be a way to evaluate teachers, don't you think?

What would you propose?

thebigspoon 3 years, 7 months ago

How about the system in place right now in each and every school district in Kansas? The KNEA has provided guidelines for administrative review of teachers by administrators in the teacher's own building. There is a system of ratings in place right now, and includes administrators' being able to place a marginal teacher of a "plan of assistance" when the teacher's in-class ability or effectiveness in teaching falls below certain measureable limits. (There is also a system whereby the teacher in question can defend his/her effectiveness, something that the Brownback administration abhors.) There is no reason to make any new law to do what is already done in our schools. Those of you who do not know how the system works are welcome to visit your school's administrators for the facts and see just how it works. The Brownback administration is attempting to make political hay out of pure ignorance as to how the educational system in Kansas works. Not unusual for him--he has an agenda provided to him by big money and will carry it out unmolested unless we as citizens put the brakes on him by demanding facts rather than rhetoric.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm not sure that I would entrust that to administrators.

Administrators are notoriously out of touch with teaching, and subject to a wide variety of political pressures.

And, if students are still not performing adequately, then something's wrong with the system - the whole idea of public education is to make sure that all students get an adequate education, isn't it?

I'm not a big fan of Brownback's ideas - I just think that, as with NCLB, there is a kernel of something there that should be considered.

thebigspoon 3 years, 7 months ago

Jafs, you are always reasonable and thoughtful. But you're missing the mark here. There is nobody better qualified and situated than the building administrator, who is trained in exactly this area, to rate the teacher's quality. The kernel of reality in this proposal is to mak sure the teachers are doing the job for which they were hired: teaching. In classroom visits, in faculty meetings, in individual plans of achievement, and, yes, in testing, there are many ways in which teachers, administrators and parents are in touch with the student's progress. If you would take the time to cotact any school administrator, you'd be able to determine the facts: kids learn as they will, not based wholly on the teacher.

Yes, there are sub-par teachers and there are sub-par politicians. There are avenues set up by those whose life-long work is to make education of our kids as effective as possible. But posting "ratings" will become a popularity contest with the "nice" teachers besting the "strict" teachers by a landslide. Get the politics out of education so that kids can learn the difference between rhetoric and reasoning.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Thanks :-)

I said I wasn't a big fan of these ideas - I'm not advocating posting these sorts of evaluations.

But, our educational system is clearly not fulfilling the function it's intended to fulfill - many kids are graduating from high school without being able to use the English language correctly.

That's just one example, but there are more.

Those who advocate for some sort of concrete evaluation of teachers may miss the mark a lot, but those who resist that don't seem to offer a good enough alternative for my taste.

I want all children in public schools to receive an adequate education, regardless of their familial situation, socio-economic one, etc. That's the basic idea of public education.

Is that hard to do? Undoubtedly, but we should be trying to do that, not find reasons why kids are being inadequately educated that aren't the teacher's fault.

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

You're presuming the fault lies with bad teachers. It does not. Unless bad teachers only teach in low income areas?

Things we could do right now that would improve our education system: Quality preschool for all kids Extended school year for all kids Increased early intervention services Learning disability screenings for all kids

Beyond that, we'd have to address income inequality, health inequality, upward mobility, higher education funding, and parental motivation. Those are harder problems. All of them feed into the reasons why our schools are having issues.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Ok.

So let's do what will work.

I don't think that all teachers are good, by the way - there must be a continuum, from excellent to rather terrible, with most teachers falling somewhere in the middle.

If the problem is outside the classroom, then most of your initial suggestions wouldn't fix it much.

kochmoney 3 years, 7 months ago

Of course not all teachers are good. That's why it's already possible to fire them right now, and that's why quite a few quit on their own. We don't need to mandate that more teachers be fired or publicly humiliated on some website for that to be true. We certainly don't need to implement a system that punishes 90% of good teachers in order to catch the 1% or less of truly lousy teachers that manage to evade detection.

You're right that most problems with the system are societal problems beyond the school system's capacity to solve, which is one of the reasons why draconian anti-teacher measures are particularly stupid.

That said, there's actually evidence that at least some of those first suggestions would help. Would they solve everything? No, but if the intention is to fix public education rather than dismantle it in favor of some sort of Dickensian system of private schools, you go for evidence-based solutions like preschools http://nieer.org/docs/?DocID=58.

Mike Ford 3 years, 7 months ago

I guess this clown didn't hear the Obama memo saying stop bullying teachers in the State of the Union Address....

4getabouit 3 years, 7 months ago

Watching Brownback work his political bs is the best show in town. Old puffy eyed Brownie is so full of himself. Move over Beavis!

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 7 months ago

Is this man actively working on being a one termer?

Shelley Bock 3 years, 7 months ago

What is scary is that although there are many who see the impossibility of determining teacher ability as defined by Brownback, there will be many Kansans who think it is a good idea who's time has now come.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 3 years, 7 months ago

Is teaching to the test good? Pssst... The answer is "NO"!

kochmoney 3 years, 7 months ago

Teaching to the test is fine. Problem is that we've got a lousy test. :-)

mr_right_wing 3 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like a good idea to me...we (under)pay these teachers through taxes; we ought to be able to see what we get. You could apply that to almost any public tax supported employee. If I was a public employee; do it...!

Would you want to see an evaluation of your doctor before an important proceedure? Teachers play as vital a role as any doctor; we should want the very best and weed out the burnouts who really don't care anymore.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 3 years, 7 months ago

Is teaching to the test good? Pssst... The answer is "NO"!

ConcernedResident 3 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Right Wing,

You can forget about the schools with poorer populations, more minorities, less privileges, etc. attracting quality teachers (especially in math, English, or any tested subject) if Brownback's plan were adopted. THINK...it's really common sense.

KSManimal 3 years, 7 months ago

Of course teachers need to be evaluated: by competent and skilled administrators who see first-hand what the teacher does in the classroom. Great teaching may or may not produce great standardized test scores - there are simply too many confounding variables to make any valid conclusions that way.

Think about two doctors: one who works in an affluent community, where people can afford healthy food, preventative care, and gym memberships, etc..... and another who works with impoverished patients who have terrible food or no food at all, no preventive care, no time or money to take care of themselves, more of whom smoke & drink & drug, many of whom are exposed to toxic chemicals on the job, etc.,...... Can you tell me which doctor is "better" based on the health of their clientele?

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Sure.

But, don't we want to make sure that all students are being adequately educated?

Otherwise, what's the point?

thebigspoon 3 years, 7 months ago

Jafs, all we can do, and I mean "all", is to give the students the best opportunities to learn. That includes preparing teachers with knowledge and practical courses leading them to understand what they may face in the "real world". We can test all we want, but, and some may find this unbelievable, some kids don't test well and never will. The best a teacher can do is to give the knowledge and challenge each student along the way to try making sure the student is "getting it". By doing so, the teacher will inevitably fail some students, and their parents, in ways that will make the parrents' ratings reflect their dissatisfaction with the teacher. There are no ratings for students or parents, and so this system Brownback has proposed fails in too many ways to count.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

The whole point of public education, as I understand it, is to make sure that students are adequately educated.

If that's not happening, then we're not living up to the promise of public education, and we should do something about it.

Tests may not be ideal, but they are some sort of objective measurement of how well students can learn and demonstrate their knowledge.

Don't get the impression that I support Brownback - I just don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water.

thebigspoon 3 years, 7 months ago

The whole point of public education is to make sure the students have every opportunity to be adequately educated.

That said, the reasoning behind this bill is not the education of the kids, but the intrusiion of government into the educational system for political purposes. I will not be swayed from that statement until Brownback can tell me just how this system of his will weigh test results of different populations, how the parental ratings are weighted against teachers' evaluations of the parental input received in the kids' education, and how he can justify putting personal job information out there for everyone to see.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

I don't know why you keep arguing with Brownback - I'm not him, and I'm not advocating for his ideas.

We have a subtle disagreement, it seems - I think that our system should adequately educate students, and you think it should provide the "opportunity" for them to be educated.

If students are graduating from high school without learning what we determine is the correct curriculum, then our system is not doing what it's supposed to do, in my view.

It's not enough to say they had an opportunity to learn that, but failed to do so.

thebigspoon 3 years, 7 months ago

OK, you're right. I'm just so upset with Sam that I go overboard in trying to defend anything he attacks.

Now, I'm feeling much better, and no, we aren't in disagreement. I advocate for the best methods to teach, you advocate for the best results. Both the same goal, I think.

Earlier, Chootspa gave an excellent list of goals and needs. The strongest need, I believe, is the home environment that teaches kids to want to learn or not. Many of the issues in school would resolve themselves if parents were more responsive to their kids' needs, and took more responsibility in the nurturing of their kids' desires to learn. We can't legislate that, but many of Brownback's "policies" are counter-productive to parents' having the energy and wherewithal to address those desires appropriately. I don't know the answers, but I do know that this bill will do nothing to narrow the gap between teachers and families, and will, most probably, be a hindrance to their getting together for the kids' good.

Jafs, thanks for your thoughtful comments, and I value our conversations, always.

Liberty275 3 years, 7 months ago

"OK, you're right. I'm just so upset with Sam that I go overboard in trying to defend anything he attacks."

That could be tattooed on all the liberals in Lawrence.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Agreed.

I think that if the problem is the home environment, then we need to find ways to help parents be better parents, and be more involved in their children's education in a positive way.

My pleasure - I always enjoy our conversations as well.

kochmoney 3 years, 7 months ago

The short answer about when it parents will be more enthused about their kids education is this: when they can see it makes a difference.

Right now a low income kid will be a low income kid, and working hard in high school isn't enough for most to overcome that.

DRsmith 3 years, 7 months ago

Works for me. What is there to hide? They should be held accountable. Does Lawrence just automatically go against whatever Brownback proposes? I wouldn't get your hopes up for a new governor. Outside of Lawrence, he is pretty popular and doing the job he was elected to do, like it or not you crazy libs.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 3 years, 7 months ago

Is teaching to the test good? Pssst... The answer is "NO"!

justoneperson 3 years, 7 months ago

Unfortunately, how many of the people that support this clown realize all the stuff he is doing is (1) harmful, and (2) being retracted. My guess, not many. He gets the support in the initial proclamation, supporters fail to follow up. Pretty standard MOD.

Sally Piller 3 years, 7 months ago

You must be out of your head if you can't see that this is a horrible idea.

StirrrThePot 3 years, 7 months ago

"Works for me. What is there to hide? They should be held accountable. "

Of course they should--just not using this plan. He has no earthly clue what he's doing, and neither does anyone else if they support it.

"Outside of Lawrence, he is pretty popular "

Not true from what I hear. I know people in the statehouse who have said otherwise. I know state employees --lifelong red staters among them--who want him gone NOW. Hell, other GOP officials can't even stand him. Be careful drinking that kool aid. It's pretty potent and blinds people from reality. Kansas is in the toilet and Brownback has his hand on the lever, getting closer to flushing it.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

And what's your suggestion for a better plan?

Frederic Gutknecht IV 3 years, 7 months ago

I see Brownbeak is continuing to audition for the Koch commercial. "Take a big snort and smile!"

KSManimal 3 years, 7 months ago

Why not just set up rows of stocks in the center of each town, then put teachers in them over the summer? That way, everyone would have a chance to spit on them at least once; and the teachers wouldn't be taking valuable temporary jobs away from all the illegal immigrants.

weknowwhatsambrowniedoesalot

KSManimal 3 years, 7 months ago

Sammie doesn't want to improve public schools, he (puppet of ALEC) wants to destroy them in order to give tax breaks to the wealthy, and keep the majority ignorant (= easier to exploit).

The rest of you, though, should read this:

http://www.examiner.com/k-12-in-topeka/we-must-fire-bad-doctors

and this:

http://www.examiner.com/k-12-in-topeka/adequate-yearly-diddily-poop

mloburgio 3 years, 7 months ago

About ALEC Exposed

This page reveals how ALEC bills would privatize public education, crush teacher's unions, and push American universities to the right. Among other things, these bills make education a private commodity rather than a public good, and reverse America’s modern innovation of promoting learning and civic virtue through public schools staffed with professional teachers for children from all backgrounds. Through ALEC, corporations have both a VOICE and a VOTE on specific state laws to change the American education system. Do you? http://alecexposed.org/wiki/Privatizing_Public_Education,_Higher_Ed_Policy,_and_Teachers

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

Except that the largest research done on the subject finds that private schools do no better than public when student demographics are considered. Charters are more likely to do worse for students than they are better.

lunacydetector 3 years, 7 months ago

average salary.......$41467 average 186 days of work a year 41467 / 186 = $222.94 per day 222.94 X 5 days = $1114.70 per week ....graded, some receive a bonus that do good, some can't teach that do bad those poor teachers

voevoda 3 years, 7 months ago

It's lunacy, lunacy, to think that teachers don't work weekends and don't work during school vacations and summers. They do. Try following a teacher around for a year, and you'll see for yourself how much and how hard they work.

jaywalker 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm all for everything in the plan, EXCEPT posting the results. That should be confidential. If they want to announce recipients of the bonus for being "highly effective", that would be cool. But if the plan is for the teacher not to be teaching after two 'poor' years, I believe that's incentive enough, and it doesn't need to be known by the public.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 7 months ago

I recall, oh, maybe a decade ago, California tried to tie a pay raise to the teacher passing a standardized test. The test was in their core subject and was at an eighth grade level (if memory serves). Well the union howled. They wanted the pay increase but not the test. They accused the state of all forms of malfeasance including charges of racism, anti-professionalism, whatever they could think of.
Now here's the deal, in my opinion. I absolutely believe that teachers should be treated as the professionals they are. I think they are grossly underpaid and under appreciated. I think that in conjunction with substantial pay increases, raising their pay to the levels of other professionals with similar education and experience, there needs to be some way to evaluate teacher performance. This plan may or may not be the correct method. But rather than just finding fault, come up with a better plan.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Gov Sam Brownback gets a Grade F-

Gov Sam Brownback is an expert at not too many things..... except wasting tax dollars big time. Just like what his party has been doing each time they take over the white house.

This is a first step to justify privatization of the public school system.

Quit Voting Rino!

These RINO's care about money and power. Yes Koch Bros are nut jobs just like the Wal-Mart family and both are billionaires through no fault of their own. Yet both are funding think tanks and other PAC"s that represent lower wages for most all americans blue and white collar.

STOP electing RINO’s ! My My father in law left the RINO party because he is a fiscal conservative republican with at least 60 years under his belt. Evermore stunning he is working with democrat party in Pennsylvania.

RINO's focus is privatization of as much government as possible. Not because private industry can do anything better or more efficient. It is because these private industry nut jobs want OUR trillions of tax dollars in their bank accounts.

Then OUR trillions of tax dollars can be spent evermore recklessly after all the most reliable source of fraud against consumers and taxpayers is private industry.

motercyclejim 3 years, 7 months ago

Brown back is a christain and you are obviously not!!!! why give money to teachers who just indoctorinate our children to comunism?!

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

It always surprises me that people miss jim's humor and sarcasm.

repaste 3 years, 7 months ago

"lunacy detected" "lunacy detected" Alert Alert

Matt Needham 3 years, 7 months ago

What we really need is a website that let's us give our politicians rankings of highly effective, effective, progressing, or ineffective. Highly effective = you get a $5000 bonus. Ineffective = automatic recall.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 7 months ago

What an elitist suggestion. As we all know, access to websites is much more difficult for various groups (the elderly, minorities, etc.). Your suggestion diminishes their voice in the process you propose.
Just another old while male suggestion that will benefit old white males.

Joe Hyde 3 years, 7 months ago

Does the Governor's plan for state education include a requirement that teacher evaluations be performed at private schools using the same methodology he's proposing for public schools? If so, is he proposing that the annual evaluations of private school teachers be posted on the Internet?

Flap Doodle 3 years, 7 months ago

"...My My father in law left the RINO party because he is a fiscal conservative republican with at least 60 years under his belt. Evermore stunning he is working with democrat party in Pennsylvania..." You can always tell when a certain poster is actually keying in his own text. I'd kinda like to see this evermore stunning dude.

Gary Denning 3 years, 7 months ago

Will the teachers be credited for how much a student learns in a year? If a 4th grade student starts the year reading at a 1st grade level and ends the year at a 3rd grade level the teacher has done a good job but his/her evaluation would show poor performance.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

That's a good question.

That teacher has done a great job, and should be rewarded, not punished.

However, the student is still not reading at grade level, and should be doing so. If a 4th grade student is reading at a 1st grade level, then previous teachers have failed to adequately instruct them, don't you think?

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Ok.

And yet, if they're not learning what they're supposed to learn, our educational system isn't working well enough.

Learning disabilities is a separate issue - it certainly doesn't make sense to hold those kids to the same standards as "normal" kids.

Gary Denning 3 years, 7 months ago

Sure, but we are talking about the evaluation for the CURRENT teacher, not the past teachers.

And I'm not sure about having kids reading on "grade level" is a fair assessment. Kids do not develop in lock step with one another.

But so long as teachers are evaluated on what benefits they give THEIR students, I'm not opposed. I just don't want to have teachers in Blue Valley getting bonuses while teachers in some other district get punished for poor test scores. We need to somehow acknowledge that teachers do not all have the same set of students walking into their schools on the first day of school.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Sure.

My main concern is that we're not educating students well enough, and those who propose various attempts to do that are usually met with stubborn resistance.

If you don't like these proposals, fine, offer some of your own to make sure that students are getting the education they need and deserve.

Gary Denning 3 years, 7 months ago

OK. I"ll play.

My first suggestion is to allow local school boards to determine their criteria for good teaching and to use that to evaluate teachers in your community. Don't like the criteria? Throw out the school board. This is obviously the current system and needs no tinkering by the Gov or Legislature.

If you are going to use test scores to evaluate teachers, give a test the first day of school and one the last day of school to make sure each kid gets a year of benefit from being in that classroom, and give the teacher some of the credit for the students' progress. Of course that would involve an unfunded mandate to come up with standardized tests for classes not currently tested--obviously a hornets nest in an of itself. Add to that issue the problem of publishing student records and whether a teacher's performance in a classroom is public or private. As usual, there is no simple answer to a complex question.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

The problem with local control is the lack of consistent national standards.

And, your only other suggestion is in your own words a "hornets nest".

As one of the most powerful and wealthy nations on the planet, I think there must be a way to educate our children better, and we should find it.

Tracy Rogers 3 years, 7 months ago

"Just when I thought you couldn't possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this... and totally redeem yourself! "

Between Sam and Mike O'Neil, my only question is which one is Harry and which one is Lloyd??

John McCoy 3 years, 7 months ago

My wife teaches English here in Texas. Most of her students speak limited or no English. Even Rick Perry is not stupid enough to do what your governor is proposing. In the Ridiculous Governor Sweepstakes, you in Kansas win over us here in Texas.

bd 3 years, 7 months ago

Seen too many sub-par teachers just sliding by until retirement, they are a minority but they are still out there doing a diservice to our young people!

Pete Nachbar 3 years, 7 months ago

Can you possibly hold a teacher accountable for test scores ? Yes Are there bad teachers Yes , Are there bad doctors ? Bad Lawyers ? Bad Clergy ? Bad accountants ? Bad Cooks, Bad Waiters , Bad Bill Collectors , Bad File Clerks , Bad Mechanics ? Bad Politicians , Bad Governors There are bad people in every occupation . These other jobs are SELF Dependent, Self Reliant .
You do not have to factor in things like kids, their homelife, previous years of study, what someone taught them the year before. Playing Catch up . Limited Resources , buying supplies with your own money .
There needs to be a proper way to evaluate teachers, this is not it !!!!

motercyclejim 3 years, 7 months ago

NO!!!!! No money for teachers they are worst then Obama for hevens sake!!!!!

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

They can already fire bad teachers. Don't let any stupidity about "the unions" say otherwise.

Jimo 3 years, 7 months ago

In contrast!

The teachers' plan would require the State to adopt officeholder evaluations that would be based 50 percent on the politician's individual performance on quality assessments (compromises with others, avoids making a public scandal of themselves, focuses on important matters rather than irrelevant distractions, avoids obvious errors such as claiming that cutting taxes increases tax revenues, etc.), 40 percent on input from polls, peer input (snitches), academic studies, reviews by newspaper editorial boards, internet commentary and chat boards, and the opinions of other esteemed figures, and 10 percent on the results from a standardized intelligence test.

Brownback rejected the teachers' plan saying that not only would it disproportionately decimate the ranks of GOP officials but would unduly restrict the ability of voters to select candidates more dumb than the average bear.

Liberty275 3 years, 7 months ago

Anyone paid with tax dollars should be graded and that grade made public. We pay the bill, we should know what we are buying.

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

As long as it includes anyone who gets paid with a subsidy, grant, voucher, or tax deduction, whether directly or indirectly.

motercyclejim 3 years, 7 months ago

THIS IS A GRATE IDEA!!!!!! Teachers are terrible!!! they dont do anything their more useless then most goverment employees! VOTE RON PAUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Liberty275 3 years, 7 months ago

"this is a grate idea!!!!!!"

LOL!!!!!!

thebigspoon 3 years, 7 months ago

Wow. Just wow. And this guy has the temerity to denigrate teachers?

motercyclejim 3 years, 7 months ago

Yeh, and you have the timerity to post the same sentance twice!!!! you probibly voted for obama and think that teachers are good!!!!!! lol

thebigspoon 3 years, 7 months ago

At least I'm able to think, not misspell my user name, and construct sentences. Have a "grate" day.

thebigspoon 3 years, 7 months ago

Wow. Just wow. And this guy has the temerity to denigrate teachers?

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

How is it that everyone doesn't get that??

truman 3 years, 7 months ago

Just when I thought Brownback couldn't do anything more crazy .....

motercyclejim 3 years, 7 months ago

Brown back is a american herro. What did you do 2 be soo grate?!!!

Ripp 3 years, 7 months ago

What about the first and second year teachers that are in an area that is not covered by the state tests? The first year on the job had better be stellar!

Mary Darst 3 years, 7 months ago

OMG! I just wish all the naysayers on here could come to my town and teach a Math or Language Arts class for the whole180 days. Acually, testing is usually in March and April, so your time to teach the test is less. Then when you get out for that big summer break, you can spend your own money to take continuing education classes during the summer months. Oh, by the way, you need to stop dividing the pay for 180 days. Most have it spread out over 12 months, so they can pay for their extra classes in the summer. And. now let's think about the administration....wait till you see what behavior problems you have to deal with everyday in your class, and how it is handled. Until you have walked in a teachers shoes, you all probably need to shut the hell up.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 7 months ago

Well, I was going to jump in here and comment, but it seems that most of you good folks have already made the unbelievable stupidity of this "governer" clearly visible.

How about posting the evaluation ratings of police officers? How about city managers? ow about city comnissioners?

This governer has raised the art of screwing up everything to a new heighten level.

Are you proud Kansas? Do you like the efectiveness of this failed senator? Do you think your knee jerk vote for this jerk was wise and logical? Do you see what you get when you buy this republican tea party kool-aid???

Elizabeth Stancliffe 3 years, 7 months ago

It is so easy to blame the teachers, and more politically expedient, apparently, than the difficult discussions about funding. Our teachers are not the problem with the educational system.

cellogrl 3 years, 7 months ago

Okay, you have covered most, but not all of my thoughts. The first one that seems to have been hit, is the one about the teachers who do not teach in assessed areas, including myself. What happens to them?

The second part I REALLY have concerns about is the part with teacher and student input. Yes, in theory this sounds good, but what about those students or parents who have a personality conflict with the teacher and just really have a bone to pick with them? They are going to do anything they can to make that teacher look bad even if the teacher has done nothing wrong. There are the overprotective parents who think that the teacher is just picking on their child, when in reality, their child is doing things in the classroom that are not conducive to learning (and I am not talking about myself, but another teacher here). These parents would likely grade the teacher down. I just really think that parent bias would do a disservice to the teachers.

Overall, it's not just the evaluation piece I have an issue with, but the whole school funding formula that is being proposed.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 7 months ago

Somebody brought up a good point. If a private school receives public money (through a voucher system or whatever), will their teachers also be subject to the public "naming and shaming"? As it stands, at this point they don't even have to do the standardized testing mandated by NCLB. And frankly, it shows on some of the students they are pumping out. (My own daughter "graduated" from such a school. She wasn't even taught introductory Algebra. She was, however, given a course on "How to be a Modern Christian Woman", which was required for all females in the school 15 and up. When she went to college she had to take no less then THREE remedial courses.)

motercyclejim 3 years, 7 months ago

We shoud all home school our chrilden!!! RON PAUL would make it a that law!!! VOTE RON PAUL!!!!!!

motercyclejim 3 years, 7 months ago

We shoud all home school our chrilden!!! RON PAUL would make it a that law!!! VOTE RON PAUL!!!!!!

WilburNether 3 years, 7 months ago

Oh, my, listen to the educrats squeal when someone wants to hold them accountable for their job performance!

And then there's KNEA's fundamental lying when it names itself an "Education Association," as opposed to "Teachers' Union," which, of course, is what it actually is. And union thugs just hate it when they are held accountable for their taxpayer-paid performance.

How about some truth in advertising, hmmm?

buffalo63 3 years, 7 months ago

KCManimal says, "teachers need to be evaluated: by competent and skilled administrators" is absolutely correct, and herein lies the problem. There are districts (and my daughter is teaching in one) where the administrators (and school board in some cases) get in the way of actual teaching. Not providing basic materials and supplies, discouraging innovative teaching methods, etc. One year the principal reassigned all the teachers in the building to a different grade level. No discussion with the teachers, no educational reasoning....just because they could.
There are procedures for dismissing "bad" teachers, even those with tenure. Competent and skilled administrators can do it.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

No Child Left Behind was designed to manipulate a derogatory measuring device that could be applied to public schools.

This thing to also measure teachers will be designed to put forth less than acceptable performances by the public schools.

Private industry wants the trillions upon trillions of tax dollars that flow through the nations public school systems. Think facism. That will bring on obscene CEO salaries,golden parachutes,shareholders and special interest campaign contributions.

This is not about educating the students. It is about big profits for the few once again. Let's not be stupid about the Brownback/Koch/Walton thinkers. Yes facism pure and simple.

Another thought. Private industry will control the textbooks which means parents will need to review textbooks constantly. This influential group will also decide what books our should read or should not read...... it is happening as we speak.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Public education is not mandatory. There are many many other options but what public education does and can do well is educate educate educate educate educate. IF money and tools are not pulled out from underneath the system.

Yet the lions share of taxpayers choose the public education system with good reason.

To maintain a superb system parents must remain active which means we cannot allow school boards to dictate what will be. As taxpayers we are also the most important stakeholders who elect school boards to carry out our wishes not the other way around.

Neither do we stakeholders look to a governor to dictate how our system should graded...no way jose'. Now we're talking more BIG GOVERNMENT not less.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Corporate Welfare = Fascism Creeping

Those of us who are familiar with the world's history know that the old line "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" isn't just a cute phrase, but it's a fact of human nature, and its invariably proven throughout human history.

Democracy was a concept started to make sure the power of the state is held within the hands of all the people, and never within a select few. As soon as power is concentrated, it is inevitably abused. This creates a cycle of creeping fascism.

Democracy means power of the people, by the people, and for the people, and the United States of America was founded on this principle. Under this principle, the people need to be informed, educated, and need the power to make the decisions for the state.

When these conditions are met, Democracy can flourish. When these conditions are not met, then Democracy disappears.

Our founding fathers wanted to insure Democracy for our country. Benjamin Franklin created the public library, the purpose being no citizen will be secluded from public knowledge. He also founded the public school, the purpose being no citizen will be without a basic education.

There were other steps needed to preserve Democracy that were never taken, that were not written in the Constitution, because they could have never been predicted. This is why our founding fathers allowed the Constitution and law codes of our country to be versatile, to change to the needs of the time.

Our founding fathers could not have predicted that the corporation itself would become its own entity, with its own rights, and eventually have the ability to operate above the law.

Our founding fathers could have not predicted that corporations would continue to merge, until all our press, products, and services were practically coming from the same rich elite entity of people. Our founding fathers could not have predicted that the United States would create Security Agencies to operate internally and abroad in ways which would benefits profits and lessen human rights.

Unfortunately, fascism is slick, and people are trusting. People don't realize how the merging of companies can undermine Democracy. They are trusting that their government's version of "national security" is more important than human rights. The people are complacent and trusting, and don't understand their responsibilities under Democracy.

But now, the power is with the rich, and their power is growing. One day the laws themselves will protect the powerful beyond the reach of our Democracy. Before its too late, the people could stop this concentrating power, if they so realized its threat.

http://corporatewelfare.org/articles/creeping.htm

Richard Payton 3 years, 7 months ago

Could the Kansas Governor want to establish a ranking of State Governors as well? This might work out if after two years we the people could kick the ineffective governor's out of office. Just wondering where Governor Sam Brownback would rank with his own standards.

concernedeudoravoter 3 years, 7 months ago

How can we evaluate/rank/rate teachers, with 50% of that score of that score coming from the performance of the students on the standardized evaluation tests without first evaluating/ranking/rating all of the students parents/families. When youth are sent to school without the proper level of readiness, which needs to come from the family unit, however that family is structured, we all know what can happen. We require citizens to pass a test and become licensed prior to driving a car, but any idiot can go out and have a kid, whether they are ready to be a parent or not. This is so evident when teachers/schools have parent teacher conferences. The parents that really need to go see a teacher or multiple teachers about their student(s) usually are the ones that don't come. Everyone in the system, parents, teachers, administrators and tax payers are all responsible for the education of the young people in the state of Kansas.

motercyclejim 3 years, 7 months ago

I am truely suprised at how many people on here are support the teachers communist views and dont see what their really doing!!! They get paid soooo much just to indoctorinate our children to be comunist democrats and now all the people on here want to defend them its wrong.

You need to learn how to think for yoursself and not listen to the comunist medias telling us that teacher's are good. teachers are worse then obama!!!!

RON PAUL 2012!

motercyclejim 3 years, 7 months ago

I can spell my own name!!!! its' JIM!!! jez how do u think u know what my name is speled?!!!

Kathy Getto 3 years, 7 months ago

I think sam the sham is planning ahead in case he can't kill off all those poor, at risk babies by starving them to death.

Which will come first - the death of the public school or the death of the little children whom he has deemed unworthy of his godly love?

globehead 3 years, 7 months ago

Gov. Brownback’s plan to post teacher evaluations is a patently and totally ridiculous idea from our delusional governor who continues to try to govern this state from his narrow minded world of make believe.

To publish salaries, assignment locations and positions of public employees is one thing. To publish specific performance is a grotesque violation of ones personal privacy and would never be tolerated by business short of an exposure of criminal behavior. I swear the man lives in a mind numbing vacuum devoid of logic and common sense!

We have already seen with his involvement in social services his incomprehensible understanding of how to deal with social issues with bringing the infamous triumvirate of administrative buffoons in from Florida, a state which never operated its social service agencies as efficiently as has Kansas. Two of those geniuses have now departed after butchering careers of many talented SRS employees. These Florida sycophants were in way over their heads.

We should also not forget the extensively vetted and great six hour IT wonder with the mail order degree with extensive experience as a stamp licker who the governor’s people had appointed as head of the state’s extensive IT resources.

Additionally, we must not forget the plan to eliminate poverty via marriage, a continuum of trying to apply moronic solutions to complicated problems.

The governor thinks education will be enhanced by publishing performance evaluations. I’m certainly not in favor of retaining bad teachers. If this idea has even a modicum of validity, then we should go whole hog. Let’s also publish the names of parents who infrequently or never come to a parent-teacher conference. Let’s publish the names of parents who feed their children so poorly the teachers and schools have to take on the added burden of providing nutritional benefits for these forgotten or neglected children. Let’s publish the names of students who show a continual pattern of disrupting classrooms to the detriment of other students. Let’s publish the names of administrators who continually fail to support their teachers with disciplinary issues. Let’s publish the names of administrators who fail to stand up to parents in support of classroom teachers who have to deal with behavior problems. Let’s publish the names of students who fail to do homework and parents who fail to see that their children do homework. Let’s publish the names of parents who go berserk if their child doesn’t make the varsity but never question what they can do to insure their child earns, yes earns, and is not just given a passing grade.

Finally, lets be sure to publish the names of politicians who continually come up with lame ideas. It may be a good idea to publish the names of the people who voted for them. If the teachers are to be embarrassed, then lets embarrass everyone. Education may not get any better, but we’ll damned well know who’s at fault.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Considering the opportunities Public Education is a best bang for the tax buck. Not all parents have the neither the background nor the time to educate their children.

In what way are public schools failing? So many many many many many public school students graduate then go to college and graduate again.

So many many many many many public school students graduate then become successful organic farmers.

So many many many many many public school students graduate then become expert auto mechanics.

So many many many many many public school students graduate then become small business owners.

So many many many many many public school students graduate then become scientists

So many many many many many public school students graduate then become career college students doing what they do best.

So many many many many many public school students graduate then produce managers.

So many many many many many public school students graduate then become great musicians.

So many many many many many public school students graduate then become talented graphic designers.

So many many many many many public school students graduate then become great masters in pottery.

So many many many many many public school students graduate then simply succeed in something.

So many many many many many public school students graduate then become teachers that provide direction for the children in the USA.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 7 months ago

The shark has been jumped in many many many many directions.

Mark Currie 3 years, 7 months ago

While I will agree that there are some bad teachers out there, how dare anyone lump them together in their views, politics, etc. Also we have evaluators now. How can more be better? I remember one year I was teaching a unit on automatic transmissions and how they upshift and downshift. We had been on the unit for awhile and the kids were getting it. My "evaluator" came in to observe. He had no clue whatsoever if what I was teaching was right or wrong. So now some state person can come in and do better? This whole deal just sucks. I am sooooo glad I am retired.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 7 months ago

So many many many many many people are functionally illiterate.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 7 months ago

There are 12 exceptions to the Privacy Act.

The "No Disclosure Without Consent" Rule Twelve Exceptions to the "No Disclosure Without Consent" Rule 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(1) ("need to know" within agency) 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(2) (required FOIA disclosure) 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(3) (routine uses) 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(4) (Bureau of the Census) 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(5) (statistical research) 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(6) (National Archives) 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(7) (law enforcement request) 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(8) (health or safety of an individual) 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(9) (Congress) 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(10) (General Accounting Office) 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(11) (court order) 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(12) (Debt Collection Act)

I doubt revealing personnel information could be justified by any of the above.

globehead 3 years, 7 months ago

Unfortunately, the Privacy Act relates to federal executive branch records and would have no application at this level. Were the Kansas school district's records federal executive branch employee records, they would be subject to FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) exemptions and the performance evaluations would be exempt from release without the consent of the employee. Information such as how many employees were on corrective action plans or had been fired, terminated, etc. could be released but would not be tied to the individual names of anyone. That's how the feds would do it.

The only purpose in releasing individual performance records would be for the public humiliation of the individual. Thus, our governor's fine Christian attitude at work.

Winston Churchill once made the comment about a political adversary which would apply to Gov. Brownback..."but for the grace of God, there goes God!"

gorilla 3 years, 7 months ago

The bugaboo of factoring student performance into the evaluation of a teacher is that there are things that affect academic performance that are beyond the teacher's control, e.g. some home situations, peer groups that do not value academic achievement, etc.

Is there any evaluation plan among those being proposed today that can factor out things the teacher has no control over? I don't think so, and I don't think it can be done.

trippoli 3 years, 7 months ago

Brownback couldn't handle it when some teenager gave him an unflattering on-line "review". Too bad he isn't tough enough to hold himself up to the same standards he is promoting. How about if he gets paid according to the economic health and wealth of Kansas and its citizens??

trippoli 3 years, 7 months ago

Brownback couldn't handle it when some teenager gave him an unflattering on-line "review". Too bad he isn't tough enough to hold himself up to the same standards he is promoting. How about if he gets paid according to the economic health and wealth of Kansas and its citizens??

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