From recent elections, there are those who confuse arguing with attacking in order to get what they want or to marginalize others.
I saw this during the charter school election when I got personally attacked by both Lisa Macfarlane and Shannon Campion at several debates. (What is interesting is that Tim Ceis, the former city official who was known as a pitbull, could not have been nicer at the debates.) I had thought, in the moment to respond back, but my reward was watching the faces of the audience and clearly, people think little of personal attacks.
Now from Ms. Campion, I expected that. She's a shill for Stand for Children. But Lisa and I have known each other professionally for years. We have stood together on issues around the World School. I expected better from her but apparently they wanted to win the election at any cost.
Now, over at the Times, there is an op-ed - well, really an advertisement - from the head of the Northwest Evaluation Association, the group that sells and services MAP. I've seen other business-types write op-eds but generally they don't push their own business/product.
I give the CEO, Matt Chapman, for being quite careful in what he says about teachers.
Educators are rightfully concerned. In a decadelong quest for
accountability, we have lost sight of the real purpose of assessments in
the schools, and the mission of public schools themselves — student
But then he says:
We understand that some educators are concerned that students are being
over-tested and are growing more frustrated as student performance is
included as part of teacher evaluation.
No, teachers aren't frustrated over using student performance as part of their evaluation. They are frustrated AND worried over tests that don't help them be great teachers to their students.
He says MAP was developed by researchers, educators and psychometricians.
(FYI, I didn't know that word, psychometrician, so I looked it up:
A psychometrician is someone who practices the science of educational and psychological measurement, or in other words, testing.)
So I weighed in and simply stated that while Mr. Chapman calls NEA, "an organization", it is, in truth, a business.
So then, here's Lynne Varner of the Times:
Great discussion here and honesty is critical to that. You're right testing is a business. But why is that a problem?
Isn't your blog a business in which you're accepting advertising in the hopes of turning a profit?
And again, making it personal. The argument is not about me or the blog but somehow she thought it worthy of inserting it into the discussion. And, the blog existed for YEARS before we monetized it.
Folks, Charlie and I make gas money. If I had time, yes, I would spend time trying to make more money off the blog but guess what? Most of my time is spent reading, talking to everyone I can, attending meetings and pondering. Oh yes, and writing.
In other words, this blog is not a business.
I know that people in power in this town like to marginalize the blog. They worry about cold, hard truths getting out there especially about what they are doing behind the scenes. They wish we would pack up our tent and go away. So I take their comments with a grain of salt and a smile.