Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dump the EES, Dump Common Core

The EES takes too much time, is not understood by admin. and teachers, and uses redundant categories such as the SLO (we teachers also have Learning Targets, Smart Goals, and CSSS Goals that are all different—not including IEP Goals and Objectives and Common Core Standards & Benchmarks/Behavior Support Plan Goals—and GRADES).  What to fill in on the website is invented anew on a weekly basis.  Coaches say one thing, principals say something else, nobody actually knows.  These are constantly being fabricated.  There is a lot of cutting and pasting.  Principals are not conferring with teachers; they are bullying and getting away with it.  The EES is yet one more tedious chore in the work day of a teacher.  It has taken the place of me calling parents and creating interesting lessons.  The stress has caused problems in my family life and permanent damage to my relationships at work and at home.
The EES process and website leaves teachers open to attack by punishing administrators.  These administrators do not support academic freedom.  These administrators do not have higher degrees in any core subject, nor are they intellectually curious or supportive.  They are corrupt, power mongers competing in the Race ToThe Top.  This is at the expense of anyone else at the school:  students, teachers, and staff. 
It is not true that most teachers have received satisfactory ratings.  Teachers are scared to death of the EES.  It and the process is being used to bully, intimidate, and harass teachers.  It is stressful for me to watch other teachers and hear their stories, as well.  It is a negative experience. There is post-traumatic stress being experienced this year from being a pilot school last year.
I am afraid of the huge chasm between my teaching, my principal rating, what is on the website under my name, and what I actually think about the job I have done this year.  Nothing matches, nothing aligns.  The EES is a political power tool for the administrators and ultimately the complex and the state.
I work at Pahoa High & Intermediate School as a classroom teacher in English.  I teach grades 7, 9, and 11 this year.  We went through two EES cycles this year.  I was rated “unsatisfactory” by my principal each time.  The same was true last year—basic in the fall and unsatisfactory in the spring.  I do my best as a teacher. 
I began teaching for the DOE (other states included) in 1988.  I have a master’s degree and have lived and taught in Hawaii for the past twenty years.  I have never been treated as shabbily as this at a job.  The school has become a skeleton of a school.  Arts, library, counseling, and support programs all have been cut in the name of corporate vendors.
If the state wants a review system for teachers, then please use the EES for teacher information/reflection, not that whatever rating a teachers gets has anything then to do with job security or a bonus or a move up a step in the salary schedule.
I am a vendor, too.  I come with a contract.  I have been hired to provide a service but I am expected to compete with the other vendors and their corporate for-profit interests. 
This must stop.  Dumping the EES (or lessening its weight in teacher retention/promotion), dumping the Common Core Standards, College Board, and Danielson are first steps to getting back on track to educating young citizens of tomorrow—today.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Occupy EES Movement

The Occupy EES Movement has begun.  With as little as two teachers (that I know about) taking a stand and saying "no" to the EES.  The EES is supposed to find the bad teachers and expose them to the administration who are given the task to "train" them or have others "train" them or to take steps to fire them and/or freeze their pay.

Student test scores are part of the Hawaii EES.  Keeping your job and getting the contractual raise is merit pay, then.

The EES has been called "crazy and stupid" by educational leaders.  This educator agrees.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What About Those SLOs?

Yes.  What about entering your student learning outcomes?  Have  you been asked to enter them?  Do you know exactly what they entail?  Here, we will be telling teachers' stories as we've heard them or observed them.

One thing to say could be:  I am not participating in the EES this year.  It is not researched based.  I am a conscientious objector and am choosing not to participate.