PELTO: "The poster child for Education Reform's fraudulent performance evaluation movement"

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

Updated with link to the Hartford Courant story quoted in this post.  Please see the story by the Courant's Vanessa De La Torre for additional information about this issue.

The poster child for Education Reform's fraudulent performance evaluation movement

The story of how Hartford's Superintendent of Schools Christina Kishimoto got a poor performance evaluation, yet got her raise AND still wanted her performance bonus.

Teacher Evaluations are the key to "Education Reform, at least according to Governor Malloy, Malloy's Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor and the "education reformers."

Last February, Governor Malloy defined the issue when he said that the right to teach, the right to be an educational professional, must be "earned and re-earned."

Turning to Connecticut's educators he said, you must "continue to prove your effectiveness..."

These education reformers really seem to believe that the problem facing urban schools is not primarily the level of poverty, language barriers or the significant number of students who require special education services, but the "quality" of the teachers.

The reformers claim that a simple, across the board, teacher evaluation system will allow them to identify which educators are good, and should be allowed to continue their work, and which are bad, and should be let go.  Performance evaluations they say, will close the achievement gap between wealthy school districts and poor school districts.

When the dust settled on Malloy's education reform effort this year, Connecticut had adopted an evaluation system in which "student performance," as measured by test scores, would count for 45 percent of a teacher's evaluation; observation of teacher skills would count for 40 percent; peer and parent feedback would be worth 10 percent; and the last 5 percent would be based on how well the entire school was doing academically.

Then last week we saw, yet again, the education reformers' double standard.

There's more below the fold...
When reality arrives, the truth comes out.  Education reformers believe that concepts like evaluations and standards should apply to everyone but themselves.

This latest example comes from Hartford's Superintendent of Schools, Christina Kishimoto.

As a result of her contract with the Hartford Board of Education, 40 percent of Kishimoto's "evaluation" is based on quantitative measures such as student test scores and 60% is based on qualitative measures.

When the Hartford Board of Education released Kishimoto's evaluation about three weeks ago, she received 10.3 points out of a possible 20 points for the qualitative measures and 30.91 points of a possible 60 points on the quantitative measures.

Her total evaluation rating was a disastrous 56 percent and the Board of Education announced that no performance bonus was in order, although her salary for this year had already been raised from $205,000 to $231,000.

But last week, despite her unsatisfactory performance evaluation, Kishimoto's lawyers wrote a letter to the Hartford Board of Education demanding that she be given $15,450 in bonus compensation.  According to her attorneys, when the percentages were calculated, the Superintendent deserved $6,180 of $12,000 for the qualitative measures and $9,270 of $18,000 for the quantitative factors.

In response, the Chairman of the Hartford Board of Education reported that the board was "incredulous" that Kishimoto thought she deserved a bonus, considering she had already received a pay raise and her evaluation was so poor.

The uproar was immediate and by Saturday, Superintendent Kishimoto was backing away from her demand for bonus paying.

She said that although she was entitled to the bonus compensation under her contract, "In light of reporting today on communication between the board of education and my attorneys ... I will not seek a bonus for my performance over the past year."

This time, the Board of Education Chairman responded saying, "I just want to say that Dr. Kishimoto has made the right decision...Now we can, together, move forward in the business of reform for the benefit of our children."

As if we didn't already know the truth, the message is clear.

Education reformers believe that performance evaluations are the key to improving educational achievement, and those who fail to receive good performance evaluations should lose their jobs.

However, when the concept is applied to one of their own; when an "education reformer" gets a performance evaluation of 56 percent, an F by any standard, it's a whole different story.

Not only should they be allowed to keep their jobs and get a pay raise, but their lawyers are going to show up demanding that their 56 percent performance evaluation rating should be rewarded with 56 percent of their performance bonus compensation.

Talk about a double standard...

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