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Michigan wants to pay teachers solely based on students' test scores

This would of course result in teachers at affluent schools being paid a lot and teachers working in the tougher schools getting jack. Yes I Am...
So there is yet another bill being considered by Michigan's legislatures that will impact how teachers are paid. If passed, new teachers will see their salary based solely, yes solely, on student growth. Nothing else will matter, not how long the teacher has taught, not the advanced degrees the teacher possesses, not the teacher's effectiveness in any other area, only test data will be used to determine pay scale. Pretty damn scary. Thought I would compare this idea to the old doctor analogy, and then after this little post I have compared the situation to another much loved government employee, the postal worker! The doctor told his receptionist that he would no longer see sick people. Astounded, the receptionist asked “Why?” The doctor’s response was short and to the point “Because if I see sick people and they don’t get better, then I won’t get paid.” He continued. “You see our legislatures just passed a law that makes me not only responsible for my treatment of my patients, but holds me accountable for everything they do in life and everything others to do them. So I may diagnose their ailments correctly, and I may implement the proper course of treatment, and they will start to get better, but so many factors that are out of my control could be detrimental to their continued progress. The receptionist couldn’t quite figure out what could possibly stand in the way of a patient’s improvement if indeed the doctor was a highly effective doctor and diagnosed correctly and then put the proper course of treatment in place. The doctor explained. Well, I am highly educated and keep current on all of the research and best practice in my field. I am thorough when I examine my patients and take care in my recommendations for treatment. I engage my patients in their own recovery, and make sure they understand the importance of following through on what I have told them. I even make sure they come back to see me regularly so I can monitor their progress.” The receptionist was more confused than ever by the doctor’s explanation because if he did all of this, how on earth would his sick patients not get well! The doctor continued “Once the patient leaves my office, I have no control over what they do, or what others do to them. If I have an obese patient and his partner likes to cook highly caloric food, I can’t swoop in and throw his plate in the garbage. If I have a patient who needs rest but her children are ill and up all night, I can’t send her a substitute to stay by their side all night. If my patient would benefit from exercise but sees that to mean walking from the couch to the refrigerator, I can’t make him join a gym.” The receptionist was beginning to understand and said “Why would our legislatures pass a law that holds you accountable for what you cannot control?’ The doctor just smiled, shook his head and sadly said “I do not know. I have been trying to make sense of this assault on my profession. I can’t believe that our elected officials, those who have the interest of our public at heart, would want doctors to be no more, to be replaced with imposters who might stay in practice for only a year or so, never becoming seasoned and thus able to diagnose and treat the most difficult cases. But what is really hard for me to understand is that so many people know that what is being done will so harm patients for years and years yet they say and do nothing, perhaps thinking that because they are not sick, none of these laws will have an impact on them. I want to ask them, remember when we had teachers?” Rosemary

May 16, 2013

If private online courses get paid per student with no oversight, why not just enroll all the students without their permission?

Something weird is going on in Louisiana. Some Louisiana students getting registered for courses without their knowledge | The Town Talk | thetowntalk.com
SHREVEPORT, La. -- Southwood High School junior Randall Gunn is a straight-A student. So when the school’s principal saw his name come up as registering to retake several courses online, it immediately raised a red flag. Gunn was called into a counselor’s office and told he was enrolled in three Course Choice classes — all of which he already had passed standardized tests with exceptional scores. “I had no clue what was going on,” Gunn said. “I have no reason to take these classes and still don’t know who signed me up.” More than 1,100 Caddo and Webster students have signed up to participate in what some say are questionable Course Choice programs. According to parents, students, and Webster and Caddo education officials, FastPath Learning is signing up some students it shouldn’t — in many cases without parent or student knowledge. A free tablet computer is offered to those who enroll, and some educators believe that’s all the potential enrollees hear. Money to pay for the courses comes from each school district’s state-provided Minimum Foundation Program funding. Half of the money — courses range from $700 to $1,275 each — must be paid to FastPath and other providers up front. Neither students nor their parents are responsible for the tablet devices if they are lost or stolen. And they can keep them even if they don’t pass the course. . . .