First Florida, then Tennessee, and now Houston, Texas…. have now filed suits in Federal Courts, effectively saying that the idea of rating teachers on tests over which they have not control is in fact, unconstitutional…

They are absolutely right of course…

All three suits cite the same problems.  What is especially troubling for educational reformers, such as those pushing Common Core, is that these lawsuits filed on constitutionality, are in the most fired-up areas of the Tea Party…. where constitutionality is a hot button word!.

Bottom line, you can’t treat people unfairly and as we have been saying here, that is what value added testing does.

You can guess the planks backing the suit,…..

  • The standard for what constitutes enough student growth under the system is vague…
  • The value-added method chosen is proprietary and therefore opaque….
  • Certain groups of teachers—those who teach English-language learners, high-achieving students, and certain academic subjects—are at risk of lower scores….
  • teachers are being treated arbitrarily
  • Teachers were not given enough information about the ratings to protest their scores,  a violation of their due-process rights
  • Administrators are being forced to align observation ratings with the value-added components, which is a violation of their equal-protection rights.
  • Some of the plaintiffs were highly respected and have received special recognition for teaching, but under this arbitrary system, were placed on improvement plans after the evaluation results came out.

The ramifications here for Delaware are enormous.  If all three of the suits fall in favor of the teachers, the state of Delaware could be on the receiving end of similar suits.  Right now there is still time to scrap the ties between testing and evaluations.  How much could a lawsuit cost the state?  Quite possibly, $200 million….

The fix could be done as did Florida when the lawsuit hit, As did Tennessee when their lawsuit hit,  And Texas, is now considering it too.  Separate testing from evaluations.

Delaware got on the wrong train with Race To The Top and Common Core.  What kind of dummy when he finds he is on the wrong train, stays on it and pretends that was where he wanted to go all the time?

It is almost Kafkasian. The DOE is not tuned into reality.  The Executive branch is not tuned into reality.  Reality is measured in children… All 130,000 of them. Members of the General Assembly are more accountable to reality in this case than are those representing the executive branch….

We are a great state; but a small state. We cannot afford to lose $200 million dollars out of pride.  We need a bill separating teacher evaluations apart from test scores at least until 2016, put up on the floor yesterday….

It is things like this, that are what members of the General Assembly were elected to do…