“Worthless”… “Value-Less”… Value-Added Data continues to be used to unfairly evaluate classroom teachers

Peter Greene, a veteran teacher of English in Pennsylvania who works as a teacher in a state using the Pennsylvania version of the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS), wrote last week (October 5, 2015) in his Curmudgucation blog about his “Value-Less Data.” I thought it very important to share with you all, as he does a great job deconstructing one of the most widespread claims being made, and most lacking research support, about using the data derived via value-added models (VAMs) to inform and improve what teachers do in their classrooms.

Greene sententiously critiques this claim, writing: http://vamboozled.com/value-less-value-added-data/

Educators oppose fast food fundraisers sending wrong message to kids

Mark Noltner recalls the moment last fall when he took a look at a flyer his five-year-old daughter brought home about an upcoming school fundraiser and found himself face-to-face with Ronald McDonald.

Noltner, a 4th-grade teacher from the Midwest, was disturbed both as a teacher and a parent to learn that educators from his daughter’s school were asked to donate their time to serve up fries and burgers and soft drinks to students and their families at a local McDonalds under the guise of a fundraiser.

“Asking teachers to wear McDonald’s branded shirts and hand kids unhealthy foods is just wrong,” said Noltner. “I’m trying to shield my daughter from the marketing being aimed directly at her, and here it is invading her school life.”


Petition: End McTeacher’s Night

Here – http://educationvotes.nea.org/mcteachers/

Michigan Legislature chooses arrogance over common sense

Tom’s Corner – October 15, 2015
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A state senate panel on Tuesday ignored strong objections of educators and voted to approve legislation that would allow concealed weapons in Michigan public schools. In his corner tonight Tom Van Howe says the vote is an example of arrogance over common sense. http://www.wwmt.com/news/features/tomscorner/stories/Senate-gun-vote-a-victory-of-arrogance-over-common-sense-219569.shtml#.ViA5pX6rTIU

PARENTS: 3rd grade reading bill takes away control over your child’s education!

For You Michigan!—

You Are WRONG about Retention!

There are some issues, like the loss of recess and retention of third graders, that make no sense at all. I can sometimes understand mistakes, attribute them to people being clueless, but when it comes to retention the research is there. Anyone who knows how to read and puts some time into it will learn there is no point in using retention. It’s harmful to children.


“I’ve heard from educators in my school districts and they’ve told me that the state should not be mandating when students should be held back,” said State Representative Scott Dianda . “The teachers and educators in our schools know best when they should talk to parents about holding a child back. This bill essentially tells local teachers and parents that they don’t know best, and that is why I can’t support it and why I voted no on House Bill 4822.”

“Yes, our kids need to be good readers. But pushing mandates on our local schools and asking them to add new programs when they are already struggling to afford the programs they already have to teach and help our kids, is the wrong way to go about improving reading skills,” said Dianda. “This needs to be left up to our local teachers, educators and parents.”


Rep. Julie Plawecki Opposes HB 4822

Published on Oct 16, 2015

A bill that would mandate retention without parental consent of third graders who have trouble reading.

“… the fact remains that retention will hit the low-income, at-risk students the hardest. It was estimated that in one of my school districts – in which 37% of students qualify for free and reduced lunches – were this bill to pass, 52% of it’s 3rd grade class would be retained based on their 2013-2014 MEAP scores, because of course we don’t have the M-Step scores back yet. This legislation fails to address core issues that would more effectively address the impact of poverty, and opportunity for greater success in school, and again directs resources toward a failure-based model, rather than addressing coordination of services and quality early childhood programming.”

Teacher evaluation proposal sails through Michigan House after ‘huge improvements’

Teacher evaluation proposal sails through Michigan House after ‘huge improvements’

“So it’s time to end this policy that is attaching the evaluation of our educators to high-stakes tests,” Rep. Jeff Irwin said. “We don’t want our teachers teaching to the test. We want our teachers to be respected as professionals and to be able to teach in the classroom according to what they think their students need and when they need it.”

The House Education Committee made “huge improvements” to the bill approved earlier this year by the Senate, according to Rep. Adam Zemke, D-Ann Arbor, who said it now looks fairly similar to legislation he helped craft last year that passed the House but died in lame-duck.



God will save me

A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.

A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”

The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”

As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”

The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”

The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.

A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, “Grab my hand and I will pull you up!” But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”

Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.

When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”

And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”