Well, I didn't want to get into this subject in too much detail until I had an opp to meet with KCEA prez Sherry Morgan (coming up later this week), BUT...it sure does look like an awful lot of organizations and individuals endorsing this KCS budget just don't understand the mechanics of the school system's APEX "strategic" (as McIntyre calls it) compensation plan.
Cognizant that the dozen or so teachers to have explained it to me COULD all be wrong, the problem with the APEX plan according to them is that teachers in many subject areas taught in our local schools do not themselves administer any standardized test to their own students.
In those cases, which they say are many, the APEX plan causes the "test-less" teachers to have to "choose" the student test scores from among subject areas other teachers are teaching for the purpose of establishing the "performance" of the "test-less" teachers.
Understand that not only do the "test-less" teachers not teach these students whose test scores will determine the "test-less" teachers' so-called "performance," the "test-less" teachers may not even know the students on whose test scores the "test-less" teacher depends--for 50% of her evaluation score!
As teachers have explained the problem to me, these are just some of the subject areas in which "test-less" teachers will be hitching their wagons to someone else's star (notes in parentheses stand for the grade levels impacted, as in E=Elementary, M=Middle, H=High):
All Social Studies teachers (E/M/H)
All Social Science teachers (H)
All Foreign Language teachers of any sort (H)
All Physical Education teachers (E/M/H)
All Art teachers (E/M/H)
All Music/Chorus teachers (E/M/H)
All Band teachers (M/H)
All Special Education teachers of any sort (E/M/H)
All English as a Second Language teachers (E/M/H)
All Business-related teachers (M/H)
All Health Science-related teachers (M/H)
All Vocational teachers of any sort (H)
Additionally, teachers in high schools are especially upset, as they report that up to 50% of their schools' staff--some claim more than 50% of their schools' staff--are "test-less."
System wide and across all grade levels, they estimate that around 1/3 of teachers are "test-less" and therefore compromised this way. If that's true, the 2011 State Report Card indicates the problem impacts over 1000 teachers.
All of this unconfirmed by either the local KCEA prez or the Superintendent's office, either one...but it sure sounds like our "test-less" teachers have a valid complaint.
Oh, and I find only one news story on this subject in the KNS archives (in which I see my own comments asking "huh?"), which ran August 30, 2011 and which was entitled "Teachers get answers at town hall."
From every indication I have, they didn't.
Are all these teachers wrong or are all these cheerleaders clueless?
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