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By Laura Barrett
O utside the halls of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, you’d;be;hard-pressed;to;find;very;many
“student impact ratings” for all licensed educators
based on “District-Determined Measures” and
standardized test scores. The MTA is continuing to
some districts this fall.
representing teachers, school committees and
superintendents are saying this is a bad idea,” said
many teachers and how many different subjects?”
reliable and comparable. And if they’re not, then
they’re not worth creating. That is creating thousands
and thousands and thousands and thousands of
actually. That is a huge burden on people who
the feds eliminating this requirement and then for
me to hear that it is opposed by the association
of school committees, the association of school
superintendents, the two teachers’ unions and the
state Senate. ... It seems to me somebody is saying,
‘Hold on, this is not the right thing to do. This is an
enormous burden for little reward.’”
to air their concerns. Although the unions were
Commissioner Mitchell Chester was not.
Chester said, “I can’t imagine a system that
doesn’t pay attention to student learning.”
Education Policy and Practice responded by noting
that a student learning goal is already an important
addition of an impact rating is not necessary.
“We’d be the last people to say that educators
question is how to parse that out with the measures
that are part of the requirement and then be able to
moderate and you’re high.’”
operational impact rating system that can do that,
has made progress on this.”
their attention to other issues in the hope that the
impact rating mandate will be eliminated.
closely together to eliminate the mandate, either
through a regulatory change or legislation.
requirement that is scheduled to be discussed at the
tantalizingly close to passing in the spring. On
legislators in the House failed to follow suit, and the
“For the past three years we — joint labor and
rating of low, moderate or high impact.”
a month in the middle of the year, or who are pulled
out of class for English language learner instruction,
much room to “grow” for the post-test.
There were audible groans in the room when
a DDM being used to judge middle school physical
education teachers. The students are required to
run a mile in September and again in May, and the
difference in time is considered “growth” that is
attributed to the teacher.
“How many parts of this ‘growth’ are not
about the student who starts at a 6-minute mile in
September and runs a 5.5-minute mile in May? Is
that less growth? This student is already performing
do the post-test?”
how a nurse’s impact on student learning would be
Please turn to MTA/Page 22
outside a special
Board of Elementary
on DDMs on June
27. MTA members
from several locals
attended to show
to the mandate.
The meeting was
convened at the
request of the
unions were given
just 10 minutes to
make their case.
Photo by Laura Barrett