While we do not yet know how many teachers may be subject to discipline once this year’s evaluations are completed, NJEA will vigorously represent any member who believes his or her evaluation is flawed or inaccurate. This evaluation system is tremendously complex, and we will work to ensure that it is not misused to target or punish teachers unfairly. Just as educators must live up to the requirements of the new system, administrators and districts must comply as well.
That’s an excerpt from NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer’s press release on the new D.O.E. report, issued yesterday, on this first year’s implementation of N.J.’s new teacher evaluation bill. Out of a total cadre of 113,000 teachers, 97.2% were rated effective. So aren’t Steinhauer’s remarks a little harsh?
Not really. Remember, NJEA has put millions of dollars into promoting a narrative that flogs data-driven teacher evaluations as unfair to teachers, despite glowing results like those demonstrated in the system’s first year. The union’s most successful plank of this campaign urges parents to opt their children our of PARCC tests in order to sabotage the data used for evaluations like these. NJEA has also directed resources towards lobbying for a bill that would place a three-year moratorium on using student outcomes on standardized tests for teacher evaluations, just like those reflected in the report. “The moratorium bill is our priority,” says Steinhauer in another press release.
As Mark Twain said, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.