Why didn’t Arne make NEA’s worst of 2014 list?


This is the time of year when we get all the best and worst of the year lists.

The other day I received one from my National Education Association.

2014’s best and worst players in education.

The NEA gave an apple to Susan Bowles. She is a Florida kindergarten teacher who made a stink about giving a bunch of high stakes test to her kindergarten students.

Right on Susan Bowles!

The best also included teachers in Ferguson, Missouri.

No argument there. I can imagine being a teacher in a town with tear gas in the air and tanks on the street.

Even the onions – who the NEA called the worst of the year – made sense.

It included the Koch brothers, Campbell Brown, high steaks testing zealots and and my old friends from Democrats for Education Reform.

Just to remind you, DFER director Joe Williams once promised to kick my ass.

I would agree about giving him an onion.

The NEA also included a list of anti-education governors.

Illinois’ Pat Quinn was not on the list even though he was a major teacher pension thief. But the IEA endorsed him for governor anyway. So I’m not entirely surprised that the NEA looked the other way when they made their list of bad governors.

But the big surprise was the name that was missing from the NEA’s worst list.

Because I distinctly remember the vote at the Representative Assembly by the members of the NEA back in July.

We were in Denver.

We voted that Education Secretary Arne Duncan should resign.

You may have heard about it.

It was in all the papers.

So, why didn’t he make the NEA worst of the year?

4 thoughts on “Why didn’t Arne make NEA’s worst of 2014 list?

  1. New York Teachers Do Great, their students not so much.
    Those darn tests can’t get it right, 60% of evaluation on “observation”.
    Give me a break!!

    NY teachers ace evaluations despite dismal student test scores
    Michael Blomberg, Dennis Wolcott, Shael Polakow-Suransky, Merryl Tisch, John King Jr.
    New York state Commissioner of Education John King Jr., left, talks about standardized test scores during a news conference, in New York, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013. He is joined by New York City Schools Chief Accountability Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky, New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, state Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, background left to right. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Richard Drew)
    By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com The Post-Standard
    Follow on Twitter
    on December 16, 2014 at 2:43 PM, updated December 16, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. – More than 95 percent of the state’s teachers were rated “effective” or “highly effective” in evaluations for the previous school year, according to preliminary data released today by the New York state Department of Education.

    Those scores reflect teacher evaluations from the 2013-14 school year, the same year that less than 4 in 10 students across the state showed proficient abilities in math and English language assessments. Statewide, 35.8 percent of students in grades 3 to 8 scored “proficient” in math and 31.4 percent scored proficient in English Language Arts assessments.

    “The ratings show there’s much more work to do to strengthen the evaluation system,” Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said in a news release. “There’s a real contrast between how our students are performing and how their teachers and principals are evaluated.”

    The teacher evaluation scores included New York City data for the first time. Only 9.2 percent of teachers in the city rated highly effective, compared with 58.2 percent of teachers outside of New York City.

    But 82.5 percent of New York City’s teachers made the effective – or second-best – rating. Outside of New York City, 39.3 percent scored effective.

    Statewide, only 7 percent of teachers rated a “developing” scoring. Just 1.2 percent rated “ineffective,” the worst rating in the system.

    The teacher evaluations are based on three measures, according to the Education Department:

    60 percent on observations and other measures agreed upon at the local level through collective bargaining;
    20 percent on student performance measures agreed upon at the local level through collective bargaining; and
    20 percent on student performance on grades 4-8 state assessments (where applicable) or district-determined student learning objectives.

    Statewide, 93.5 percent of principals were rated as effective or highly effective

    1. Teachers have also been shown to have only a 1-14% influence on test scores (on which the students supposed failure is based). Maybe if we were working to change things that would actually HELP students be better able to learn we would see real improvement. Things like wraparound and school based social and medical services, nurses and counselors in all schools, smaller classes in the early grades and in impoverished schools, economic development in impoverished regions, rich enrichment opportunities during and after school…

  2. I voted to place Arne Duncan as “Turkey of the Year”. I’m happy to report that he won! Here is a quote from Diane Ravitch’s blog:

    On his blog “Cloaking Inequity,” Julian Vasquez Heilig conducts an annual poll seeking to identify the “Turkey of the Year.” This year’s winner, hands down, is Arne Duncan. This was an unusually impressive victory because in the listing of candidates, Duncan’s name appeared last. And better: he garnered a majority of the votes, even though there were several choices.

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