ISBE’s Chris Koch explains it all.


Every couple of years they call a meeting of the faculty to show a PowerPoint about the new thing.

This time it is the Common Core.

But don’t worry they tell you. You won’t actually have to change anything that you are doing.

That is the change mantra. Wink, wink. It’s really not a change.

But it sure feels like a change.

Because the test has changed. And, sorry. But the kids’ scores are going to drop.

But don’t worry. Because that always happens.

Explain it to the parents?

Um. Right.

And your evaluation, and the evaluation of your principal is now going to be based on these scores. And the scores will will go down because of a new assessment that is more in line with the Common Core.

That is actually a good thing. Because your evaluation will be based on growth scores. So going down will allow you to bring them up.

So don’t worry.

You are the teacher and you had no input in all this?

Oh no. Not true.

Your union Executive Director wrote the PERA law that required teacher evaluations be tied to student growth scores on the new test. So your views were represented.

And  (all together, now) it’s for the kids.

3 Replies to “ISBE’s Chris Koch explains it all.”

  1. The research on educational change shows that test scores inevitably drop no matter what the change is. Initially there is always a drop as it takes time for even the best changes to be implemented in a positive way and to have durable results. So if you want test scores to drop, implement any change, good or bad. Then when they use the change to evaluate teachers, what can we expect?

    It is another way to set up teachers and students for failure. Educational improvement is always a long hard plodding effort of coordinating many factors over time. When something is touted to be positive in a short time, be wary. Patricia Herrmann

    1. It should be of no surprise that the real experts on change theory are teachers. Although we have no degree in it and have not studied it in an academic fashion, we know it and more often than not are, along with our students, the victims of it.

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