Of course, those systems need to be sensible and fair. But the country will never get where it needs to be if we take the approach — as union leaders have sometimes done — that student test scores should be out of bounds when it comes to judging teacher effectiveness. That is an indefensible position. The unions can either help to create this system, or get left behind. [emphasis mine]Hey New York Times, shilling for Duncan is an indefensible position. Who made you the arbiter of teacher effectiveness? You can't even hire editorial writers who tell the truth! Or even KNOW the truth!
In the past, the federal government talked a good game about requiring reform in exchange for federal dollars, then it caved when it came time to enforce the bargain. This time, Mr. Duncan has proposed using a closely calibrated evaluation process under which states get points for reforms they have made and points for changes they promise to make — as well as conditional financing that can be pulled back if the states fail to perform. Mr. Duncan should hold fast to that plan.
I think every teacher should make a commitment to never again buy the New York Times (we don't anyway; can't afford it).