Lake Woebegone of Teachers II

We have seen that the evaluation scheme in effect in 2011 held that Richmond’s teachers failed in some respect to meet expectations in only 0.72% of the items in the evaluations.

Richmond’s application for “reconstituted” status gives us a picture of the current situation:   The Accreditation process this year left sixteen Richmond schools unaccredited and in TBD status.  The Board of “Education” minutes (Hat Tip: Jim Weigand) contain the applications of twelve of the sixteen for “reconstituted” status.  Presumably the other four will go to some other form of unaccredited. 

Those applications contain some interesting data.  Here is a summary of some of it.  The first five columns report teacher evaluation totals.

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*”Developing/Needs Improvement”

Of the 444 teachers in these twelve failed schools, only 0.9% were evaluated as “Unacceptable” this year and another 7.2% as needing improvement. 

Yet all of these schools underperformed, some grossly.  Here are the details:

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Reid (Multiple entries because the name changed):

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And, finally, TJ, all grades:

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So, scores ranging from poor to awful, but very few teachers performing below average?

Then we have the principals: From the paperwork here, it’s not clear but as many as ten of the twelve could have kept their jobs.  Clearly, any principal who evaluates failing performance as “Proficient” needs to find work more suited to his/her talents.

And then we have the “Priority” status schools: Four since 2014, one since 2015.  Except, perhaps, for Ginter Park and Reid, this looks like squandered money.

And last, if you have a strong stomach, you can read the “plans” of these twelve schools.  There’s lot of feel-good bureaucratese there but only a few faint hints of the necessary measures: Fire all principals (and a bunch of the teachers); replace them with proven performers; hold the new principals responsible for improving performance.  Oh, and fire the Superintendent who oversaw this disaster.

It’s not as if we can’t afford to do this right.  On the 2015 data (the latest available until this Spring), we have the tenth most expensive division in the state.  (On the current data, we have the worst 2016 5-subject pass rate):

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On the 2013 data (that I need to update), we were wasting 50+ million dollars per year.

We have LOTS of money.  We just need to direct it to hiring first rate people instead of wasting it.

Your tax dollars at “work.”