With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The impact of IMPACT

Here in D.C., Chancellor Rhee is sailing through the floodgates, opened when union leaders signed on to a bogus contract. The agreement allowed pay increases based mainly on the good will of a few private foundations, in exchange for Rhee's ability to fire teachers in mass, using the IMPACT evaluation process. IMPACT is mainly an attempt to link student test scores with individual teachers. It also includes 22 other measurement points which are supposed to be assessed in a 30 minute-observation by a master-teacher.  

Valerie Strauss shows why the entire process in suspect in this post on the Answer Sheet.
A number of teachers never got the full five evaluations, apparently because a number of master teachers hired to do the jobs quit, according to sources in the school system. But even if they all were, let’s look closely at this: In 30 minutes, a teacher is supposed to demonstrate all 22 different teaching elements. What teacher demonstrates 22 teaching elements -- some of which are not particularly related -- in 30 minutes? Suppose a teacher takes 30 minutes to introduce new material and doesn’t have time to show. ... Oh well. Bad evaluation.
In many cases, Rhee is even ignoring her own evaluation process and firing teachers and school staff arbitrarily, in hopes of impressing her corporate and foundation patrons and getting a leg-up on Race To The Top funding.

Rhee has used the vagaries of the contract to fire the first volley in what's bound to be a full-scale war, with the firing of 241 teachers. So far, the war has been one-sided with only Rhee's side on the attack. Hopefully, that will change.


  1. I like the term "volley". It reminds me of tennis. And, if this was a tennis match, it would be "doubles", with a public school teacher and student on one side of the court, and Michelle Rhee with Randi Weingarten on the other.

  2. Despite all this, right-wing faux researcher, Rick Hess, leaps to defend IMPACT. http://www.frederickhess.org/2010/08/professor-pallass-inept-irresponsible-attack-on


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