I’ve been critical of Gregoire for various things. And Lee has bee a lot more critical than me especially after the misguided veto of the medical marijuana bill. But unlike Lee, I’d have no problem voting for her again (although I hope she doesn’t run, and if she does, I’ll gladly support someone else in a primary). There are real and important ways that she’s better than Rossi would have been. For one thing, she doesn’t seem to hate teachers like The Seattle Times’ Ed Board.
They spend a whole lot of time not engaging with Gregoire’s stated reasons for opposing the measure (in short, we’re in the middle of revising the way we evaluate teachers because how we currently evaluate them doesn’t work). There’s a little dancing around that, but even then it’s pretty minimal.
It would be great to have the 82,000-strong union on the right side but not at a cost that would be borne by students betting their educational futures on the success of reforms. Requiring districts to take performance into account during layoffs represents a significant game changer. Layoffs are disruptive; robbing classrooms of good teachers is even more harmful.
Lynne (or whoever, but it’s Lynne Varner), just because you saw Waiting For Superman doesn’t mean that teachers are wrong. They’re the ones pushing for smaller class sizes and better teacher pay while your ed board keeps demanding tax cut after tax cut that has the effect of larger class sizes and worse pay. Teachers and their unions are the ones pushing for higher quality K-12 education in Washington.
I’d bet if you wanted, it wouldn’t be too tough to get the teachers on board with these sorts of reforms as part of a grand bargain: If you pushed for 25 student maximum classes and teacher pay in the six figures (for example) along with smarter evaluations of this kind, I bet you could get the teachers unions to support it. Instead you insist on something less meaningful (and quite possibly arbitrary). And your ed board insists on the things that have made gutting education inevitable.
Most teachers are good instructional leaders not threatened by accountability. Uncertainty about the shift is outweighed by the fairness and legitimacy promised from new teacher evaluations coming down the legislative pike. Some districts, including Seattle Public Schools, have adopted better evaluations.
The newer evaluations are still untested and in most cases not even through the legislature yet. Let’s impose them!
The only employees left to fear performance-based layoffs are those who aren’t performing. That’s not who the governor should be protecting.
Or teachers who think perhaps the system won’t work as advertised. Maybe, just maybe, teachers think that the same legislature that’s been slashing education budgets doesn’t have the best interests of children we’re trying to educate at heart.