Friday, October 22, 2010

United Federation of Teachers: Parents Are Stupid

Why is the teacher's union so afraid of transparency? If they're so proud of the job teachers are doing, why not release performance ratings to the public? Going to court to prevent the release to the public only leads us to believe they have something to hide.
Parents just won't understand!

That's one of the main arguments in a lawsuit the teachers union filed yesterday seeking to block the Department of Education from going public with its ratings of 12,000 teachers.

The United Federation of Teachers' filing in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday, prompted by a Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Post in August, argues the data is inaccurate and misleading -- but moreover too complicated for parents to grasp.

The DOE was ready to provide the data Wednesday -- including names and percentile rankings of teachers on a scale of 0 to 100 -- but agreed to hold off until the court hearings are conducted on Nov. 24.

"We continue to believe that it is our obligation under the law to provide this data but will await the court's ruling after a full briefing," said DOE spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz.

The union argued that the basis for the ratings -- the recently rejiggered annual state math and readings tests combined with a complex formula that determines how much "value" teachers add to their students -- was flawed math.

"We have invalid test scores going into an unreliable formula, which equals a bad result," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

But the union's court papers also suggested that UFT honchos worry about the ability of parents to interpret the ratings.
The smug arrogance of these people is just breathtaking. If they're so brilliant and parents are so dumb, why don't they simply explain the ratings to the public?

Instead it appears they're too ashamed to let parents see the truth.
Parents said they understood that the evaluations weren't an be-all and end-all, but some bristled at the suggestion that they were too dense to digest it.

"I think it's horrible that they think the parents couldn't understand teacher evaluations," said Upper East Sider George Katsiaris, whose son is a fifth-grader. "I don't think I'm that stupid that I wouldn't understand . . . I have to be involved in my son's education."
Even Obama's stooge from the DoE sides with the parents.
Even US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan entered the schoolyard scuffle, siding with the push for greater transparency.

"Parents and community members have the right to know how their districts, schools, principals and teachers are doing," he said. "It's up to local communities to set the context for these courageous conversations but silence is not an option."

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