Hold onto your seats. Timothy G. Kremer, the Executive Director of the New York State School Boards Association, has a proposal in the New York Post suggesting that the school boards association and the United Federation of Teachers work together to get legislation passed that would use student-performance data as one way to evaluate teachers for tenure. (Hat tip to E3.)
Kremer explains that the New York State Legislature was supposed to put together a special commission to review the issue but they dropped the ball. Now he’s asking UFT President Randy Weingarten, who said she was “disappointed” that the commission wasn’t created, to work with him to push lawmakers to move forward:
We look forward to working with the teachers union and lawmakers to ensure that New York public-school children are taught by effective, qualified and accountable teachers.
Let’s give Kremer a round of applause. Sure, he could be goosing Randy Weingarten on what he says is a “common sense” issue, right in line with Obama’s agenda, NCLB (however the reauthorization goes, it’s a safe bet that they’ll use student growth models to assess performance) and division of stimulus dollars. Or he and Weingarten could really be in agreement and it’s the NY Legislature that’s holding this reform up. The point is that the spokesperson for a neighboring school boards association has the balls to speak truth to power, you should pardon the expression. Kremer is confident enough to look squarely at a looming battle – and it is looming, on the fronts of both teacher evaluation and tenure – and take the high road, inviting his colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with NY State School Boards.
NJSBA, take some notes. Let’s be proactive. Every conscious school board member knows that using student performance data to evaluate teachers is coming down the pike. Shouldn’t our advocacy group take a stand on such a seminal issue? Shouldn’t there be some discussion? Sure, it’s bound to be unpopular with NJEA but we’ve got tough hides. Can we emulate our neighbors across the border and be bold?