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Why Lamar Alexander Opposes Duncan’s Mandate for Teacher Evaluation

January 29, 2015

Diane Ravitch is spot on with her introduction to this excerpt of Lamar Alexander’s article.. but I fear she might be off base with this part of her analysis:
“Leaving it (teacher and principal evaluation) to the states raises the possibility that some states will be even more heavy-handed and punitive than Duncan, but it’s hard to imagine how.” Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich, and Mike Pence might have some very vivid imaginations when it comes to heavy-handed evaluation of teachers and principals. RTTT over-reached… but some states will suffer if the governor’s are given free reign.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is conservative; he believes in state and local control of education. He doesn’t think that Washington knows best. He favors legislation to encourage states but not to compel them to do what Washington wants. In this article, he expressed his strong opposition to Arne Duncan’s favorite initiative, evaluating teachers by test scores and offering waivers only to states that agree to do it. Let me be clear that I disagree with his praise for the Teacher Incentive Fund (merit pay), because merit pay has never worked anywhere. The TIF was a waste of $1 billion, and now more money will be thrown at a failed policy. I have no doubt that I won’t like whatever is in the final bill to support privatization and profiteering, but I like Alexander’s clear dismissal of federally mandated teacher evaluation, which is a poison pill invented by Duncan and…

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