Education Nation needs to do a piece on the new evaluation system in Miami Dade county. Part of the blame lies with the Florida legislature and Governor Rick Scott. The other part of the blame lies with Obama and his "Race to the Top" funds. Teachers in Miami will now have 50% of their evalulation based on how students perform on the state FCAT reading test. Most students don't teach an FCAT tested subject and the students they actually teach will have no impact on 50% of their evaluation or hopes of ever getting a "bonus" based on performace pay. In the name of "accountability" we are holding teachers responsible for test scores of students they do not teach! I consider myself a "highly effective" teacher. I asked a former student how his reading score could have gone done after taking my Advanced Placement world history class, his response "The test was boring. I fell asleep and the proctor didn't wake me up." This is what teacher's careers are riding on! Our nation is spending millions of dollars developing and implementing these tests and the students are drooling all over them! We need to put the soul back in education. We've become "data driven" robots.
Additionally, the budget cuts have packed Florida classrooms with over 60 students despite the class size amendment of 25 students in core classes. The state of public education and the teaching profession are going down the toilet thanks to "reform" efforts on both the part of Republicans and Democrats.