It appears that the Washington State legislature NOT voting to change the teacher evaluation law doesn't entirely mean the issue is done. Apparently Duncan is still mulling options and talking to Washington State officials. Superintendent Randy Dorn is still willing to talk but apparently doesn't think the waiver will be granted.
We'll probably hear something by next week.
I received an odd press release this week from the Association of Washington School Principals announcing that South Shore PK-8 principal, Keisha Scarlett, has been named Washington State 2014 Middle Level Principal of the Year. This is great; Principal Scarlett is a good, effective principal who works very hard.
What's odd is that a couple of things were left out/mis-written in the press release.
First is that the school is in partnership with SPS, the New School Foundation and the City of Seattle. Uh, the New School Foundation merged with League of Education Voters and took their name. Odd that was not noted. Two, I really had no idea this was some joint partnership that included the City. I'll have to find out more about that.
Second, the press release does not note the tremendous funding that South Shore gets from New School/LEV. It hovers (give or take) around about $1M a year for the last 10 years. I thought it strange that SPS would not have given the Association this information. Turns out SPS did but the Association chose to leave that detail out. Oh.
So you read this press release and see that South Shore has a full-time art teacher, a part-time STEM teacher, a new music teacher and a Chinese-Mandarin teacher (all this, according to the press release, "in answer to community's feedback on what it would take to retain students through to the middle school program."
It'll only take a decade. That's what one Harvard professor of education said about Common Core at a recent forum. It starts out with some very serious and thoughtful questions about such a large-scale endeavor. From The Harvard Graduate School of Education webpage:
“We are not here to debate Common Core [or] debate whether to have
assessments,” he said. Instead, they were there to discuss the debate
once policy decisions have been made, including the role of chief state
school officers in leading implementations.
“How do you leverage, how do you scale that kind of instructional reform
so that all students are experiencing a high-quality program of
instruction that actually does prepare them well for the expectations
for the world after high school?”
The absolute issue: