In New Hampshire, the Department of Eduction will try to avoid the subject of tying a teacher’s evaluation to the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) by saying, this only applies to schools that receive Title 1 funding. That means many teachers in NH will be subjected to the VAM (Value Added Model). You can read this report that explains why it narrows the curriculum, promotes “teaching to the test” and cheating. VAM is junk science and that is now part of the teacher evaluation model that was developed by the NH Department of Education.
We all know that after Nashua teachers vetted the SBAC, they came back with negative comments that should concern ever parent whose children will be subjected to this assessment.
So do teachers working in districts that do not receive Title 1 money have anything to worry about?
Manchester recently developed an “innovative” plan in order to address the proficiency levels and will now evaluate Teachers and Principals on student progress. How do you measure student progress? One way is through standardized testing. I recently wrote how tying a teacher’s evaluation tied to the Smarter Balanced Assessment is a set up for failure.
So is it possible for teachers to avoid this disaster if they work in a district that does not receive Title 1 funding?
I should mention that Title 1 is also known as: Education for the Disadvantaged–Grants to Local Educational Agencies, Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged, Title I ESEA, Title I LEA Grants. In other words the funding was supposed to help disadvantaged children.
The current ESEA legislation is No Child Left Behind (NCLB) under President G. W. Bush and there has been no re-authorization in the budget. ESEA is now stalled in the Senate and in the hands of Senator Reid. The legislation is focused on individualized, standards based education that changes education away from “subject matter” and leaves states calling them “state standards”. However, the grants require the term “college and career” ready standards.
The legislation essentially makes Common Core, federal law. Since Common Core has a copyright, that nationalizes the curriculum to Common Core which is already in place in 45 states. No longer will Title 1 be targeted for poor students, but for any child not meeting “outcomes or state standards”.
The Senate version does include money that follows the child in all public and charter schools. Those schools will be “standards based” and all teacher evaluations built on the assessments with a national school board that tests the “whole child”.
Republicans passed the re-authorization last summer & added several amendments for the Title 1 money to follow the child into private & religious schools. BE WARNED when the Federal Legislators push “school choice”. Yes you can choose the school for your child but under this plan, they will all be “Common” which is no real choice at all.
Obama offered NCLB waivers in Feb. 2012. States can apply and bypass the entire law as long as they go along with the Federal agenda. Part of that agenda targets teachers and evaluating them based on Common Core assessments. (VAM)
In order for all children to succeed under this system, all children have to meet all Common Core standards. All schools will become a “school wide” or “impact” school making it entirely Title 1.
Right now, reduced school lunches, or partially reduced lunches was the only way to secure the entire school under “school wide”. There was a percentage but, the flexibility grant allows the school not to abide by NCLB. The new ESEA legislation waiting in the wings, allows any federal funding to be used however the school wants to reach their goals where before it was distinctly segregated for particular things like reading. Now, anything goes. Any school can now become Title 1.
Title 1 will be the tool to make sure the students are educated to the Common Core standards and when teachers think they’ve escaped the damaging impact from the VAM evaluations, they will be mistaken.