We came across this article on a Maryland county school system (Montgomery County Schools) that has hit on a performance review system that seems to work. The teacher union is even on board, which is a miracle in and of itself.
This article also demonstrates how the Federal Department of Education hampers and harms districts that want to innovate. This school district sends 84% on to college, and accounts for 2.5% of the black population in America that passes the Advanced Placement test. The problem? They weren’t eligible for Race to the Top funds because the brilliant minds at the Federal Department of Education have determined that review systems must include a data component. This system doesn’t, and while we are somewhat friendly to the concept of merit pay, it’s not proven, yet. This system works, WITHOUT merit pay and they are being punished because they’re not doing it the way the Federal Department of Education says.
This should come as no shock to anyone that knows anything about Arne Duncan, our current Secretary of Education. Mr. Duncan never taught a day in his life, has no degree in education, was never an administrator, and has no degree in educational administration. It continues to amaze me how people listen to this clown. Maybe our next President can choose a PTA President for Secretary of Education.
It’s examples like these that demonstrate top-down educational policy from Washington, DC is the PROBLEM. We here at CTA believe that the Congress in Washington should end the Federal Department of Education, and at the very least we should gut it and severely limit it’s ability to dictate educational policy to the states.