Monday, February 2, 2009

Excellence for All Meeting

PURE Reform's report on the most recent EFA meeting has now been posted. Go to the January 27, 2009 item on the Announcements tab of

Also, Mark Rauterkus notes that he did some videotaping at this event. He has posted it on his blog at:


fixit said...

Will you be able to post the clarification on the PVAAS issue? Will it be a tool for evaluating teachers or not? For evaluating principals too for that matter. At the summer A+ focus group I attended I was sold on the concept and came away thinking PVAAS offered a fair assessment of performance. At one of the first EFA meetings we had with the superintendent more than three years ago he told us how moving to PVAAS could contribute to better education.

Still, PVAAS does not accomodate the "social and geographic" issues impacting student performance.

If PVAAS morphs into a tool for increased teacher bashing it will lose its credibility. Frankly, I am so turned off by the term "bad teacher" used so often in EFA meetings and even in the PURE summary of the EFA meeting, it is providing me one more reason to explore other educational options. I am sure there are many less-effective teachers than we should have. I do not think they entered the profession planning to be below average. What got them to that point?

I have been lucky apparently for the most part. My kids have not had too many duds. The biggest flaw in a teacher in my observation is that they lack the ability to toot their own horns. Or maybe they are shy. Or maybe they are too busy doing their jobs to write something up for the GOOD NEWS section of the pghboe site.

solutionsRus said...

fixit, I have had experience with the PPS through my children's education for 15 years now. And I have seen some downright awful teachers. I have also seen some outstanding in their field. Again, no one is claiming that ineffective teachers are the only problem in our schools. Unengaged parents, disruptive and unprepared students, squabbling school boards and arrogance from this PPS administration all contribute to the problems that we have.

For every excellent teacher that is working wonders in the classroom, there is at least 1 teacher who is completely ineffective. Why are they ineffective? Who knows. Some may have been neglected in the early stages in their careers when mentoring/training could have helped, some may have gone into the profession not because of a burning desire to teach, but for a fairly decent paying job with summers off. The same holds true for any profession. There are horrendous doctors, police officers, constructions workers (just as there are excellent ones in each of those professions). We cannot lump all teachers in either category. There are good ones and bad ones. Let's be honest about this so that real solutions can be attained.

fixit said...

I agree there are "good ones and bad ones" in most professions. Maybe we need to use this post to come up with a composite of each type of teacher. Ineffective teachers take an extraordinary amount of time to grade papers and return them. Is that a decent start?