This week's start of the school year brings the usual amount of anxiety among students entering new classrooms with new teachers and, in some cases, new schools.
This year no doubt brings some trepidation among teachers and principals, too, what with this being the first year that Florida Standards rule the curriculum.
That Sunshine State version of Common Core arrives with another new system -- of teacher evaluations. Teachers will be only partially scored based on student test performance. The new "value added model" formula has a voodoo-like premise -- by trying to predict student performance on state math and reading tests and further predicting how much or little a teacher contributed to student scores.
This VAM score is linked to performance pay and job security. Imagine if your employer brought out a crystal ball to fill out your annual performance evaluation.
Or you evaluation centered around someone else' work? During the first two years of VAM, some teachers will be scored based on subjects or students they don't teach.
Who needs all that additional job stress? So, hug a teacher today.
Quote of the week
"We're hot for learning."
-- Latrina Singleton, the new principal at Rogers Garden Elementary School, commenting on Monday, the first day of school. The school's air conditioning system was malfunctioning. We're going with the idea she meant that teachers and students are stoked to learn.