I have no idea why a young person would accumulate tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt to become a public school teacher in Colorado ... especially if the latest attempt to placate Obama, Duncan and Bill Gates becomes law here.
The money grubbing by corporate hacks, politicians and educrats just to get some 'Race to the Top' cash is shameful. Of course, there is also the publicly downplayed agenda to "charterize" public schools, too. And, I suspect that is what the federal money is really wanted for: privatize (corporatize) the control, socialize the costs of our 'public' schools.
Destroying the teacher corps is one way to advance the corporatization of public schools. Low wage teachers in insecure jobs will pretty much undercut the foundation of the traditional, locally controlled neighborhood school. What normal human being hired as a teacher is going to let themselves get too invested in students when a couple of years of 'ineffective' progress on standardized tests could mean ... unemployment.
But that's what the latest sop to 'Race to the Top' from state legislators will mean. Here's what the Denver Post says this new legislation (SB 191) would do:
• Define effective teachers and principals and use student academic growth data to set that mark.What is obvious from the start is that students and parents are completely left out of this new equation. Build a relationship between taxpayers, parents, children, and teachers and staff? Forget it -- two years and you're out. Unless, of course, your school is located in a well-heeled enclave of upscale affluence.
• Base 50 percent of teacher evaluations on student academic growth and 66 percent of principal evaluations on a combination of the school's academic growth and the demonstrated effectiveness of the teachers in the school.
• Grant tenure after new teachers demonstrate three years of being "highly effective" — a classification based on evaluations weighted heavily by student academic growth data.
• Remove a teacher's tenured status after two years of "ineffective" ratings.
All this new proposal demonstrates is that the top-down, nationalization of all public schools into corporate testing factories is still being mightily pursued in Colorado by the "education" elite.
What we really need in Colorado is a bold rejection of the 'Race to the Top' hamster match that the politicians have signed-up for. Then we need new elected and appointed officials who will actually listen to parents and children and teachers and start building a genuine locally controlled education system in this state that makes learning (not schooling) a top priority. Real education, real learning is a personal, individual experience ... it is about a relationship between student and teacher that provokes a real investment of parental involvement with both. The value of teacher tenure concept is that it allows time and flexibility for the creation of these important relationships. It is not about testing and testing and data collection and evaluations and some more testing and more money, always more money.
'Race to the Top' and the whole Bush/Obama testing/accountability/charter theory is sadly only about producing worker drudges with massive student loan debt (ie., wage slaves) for the 'new' totally nationalized and corporatized 'low wage' economy.
So, despite the propaganda hoopla being generated by the Denver Post and the elite education establishment over this new bill, this is in truth a scheme that would ultimately destroy teaching as a respected profession ... parents and taxpayers should just say 'No More Racing!'