Thompson: CAP Waiver Analysis Misses Much
Does the Center for American Progress have a specific vendetta against Oklahoma schools? Or were we just a random target? Jeremy Ayers, author of the CAP's "No Child Left Behind Waiver," criticizes the Oklahoma NCLB waiver request as too complex but he gave no indication that he understands either the state's educational policy or politics. Oklahoma's performance-driven evaluation law was based on the Colorado law that the CAP pushed, and yet Ayers complains that we have not rushed past Colorado in nailing down the details. This is even though just last week, the OK State Board of Education reached a sensible compromise on teacher evaluations. The Board's logic was that the key to success is building a constructive culture of accountability, as we will learn from a pilot project in 2012. Ayers complains that Oklahoma has not nailed down metrics for evaluations of teachers of nontested classes. Apparently, he would like us to follow Tenneessee's absurd plan and evaluate PE teachers based on reading scores. Oklahoma has enough on its plate with increased federal micromanaging, as we switch over to Republican control. After carefully studying the policies and the process initiated by our new Republican Education Secretary, Janet Barresi, I have to admit being pleasantly surprised. A year ago, I would have never thought that Barresi would be so open to collaboration. I can't say I have the same reaction to reading the CAP report. Perhaps those in other states are having the same reaction. -JT (@drjohnthompson)Image via.