Thompson: A Teacher Talks To The Gates Foundation
Congrats to Anthony Cody for generating and hosting a civil debate with representatives of the Gates Foundation. Cody's first post describes peer review (PAR) and other proven efforts for improving teacher quality. The Foundation's Irvin Scott, in "How Do We Build the Teaching Profession?," replies "When it comes to how to build teaching to the level of respect and prestige it deserves, we share a lot more similarities with Mr. Cody than one might think." Scott does not address Cody's conclusions, however. Cody says that the teacher quality efforts he described were not new, although the Gates Foundation has seemed unfamiliar with them. Scott doesn't address Cody's position that "these models are undermined, not enhanced, by the use of VAM and other test-driven reforms." It is great that Scott has seen well-funded programs where hundreds of teachers are respected, but he makes no mention of the the extreme potential for the abuse of data-driven evaluations. He certainly does not counter Cody's hard-earned professional judgment that, "Even as educators move to improve evaluations, we should discard the idea that useful feedback can only come in the context of a high-stakes evaluation."- JT(@drjohnthompson via.