Rigorous: Extremely thorough, exhaustive, or accurate, very strict.
Rigor mortis (Latin meaning “stiffness of death”) is one of the recognizable signs of death.
The buzz word in education today is rigor. While teacher evaluation is exhaustive and strictly administered, it is not extremely thorough or accurate when determining what students have learned.
Standardized testing is one of the recognizable signs of death in learning. Death in the interest in learning, the excitement of learning, death in the joy of learning. It is also one of the recognizable signs of death in teaching.
“Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Education Commissioner John King, and New York State United Teachers President Richard C. Iannuzzi today announced a groundbreaking agreement on a new statewide evaluation system that will make New York State a national leader in holding teachers accountable for student achievement.”
- 60 percent of a teacher’s evaluation will be based on rigorous and nationally recognized measures of teacher performance.
- 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation will be based on student academic achievement, with 20 percent from state testing and 20 percent from a list of three testing options including state tests, third party assessments/tests approved by the SED and locally developed tests that will be subject to SED review and approval.
Ineffective: 0 – 64
Developing: 65 – 74
Effective: 75 – 90
Highly Effective: 91 – 100
What are the “rigorous” measures of teacher performance? Who will develop the local tests? What are the consequences for a teacher receiving an ineffective score? What about the “curve” that can move an ineffective teacher to developing? What are the implications for a seasoned teacher who receives a “developing” score?
The most important question in all of this “rigor” is, “How exactly will any of this help children learn?” There is nothing in this groundbreaking agreement that translates into student achievement. Teacher evaluation is a band-aid on a gaping wound that is causing the educational death of our children.
Our children deserve a better system of education that is flexible enough to meet their individual needs and challenging enough to keep rigor mortis from setting in.
Join the Movement to Save Our Children!