Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Louisiana's Evaluation Supervisor has Two Years of Experience

Controversy is brewing in Louisiana as they hired someone with two years of teaching experience and a lapsed teaching certificate to oversee the state's new teacher evaluation system. You can read the story here in The Advocate. 

The director of Louisiana’s controversial new system to evaluate public school teachers had her own teaching certificate lapse.
“My teaching certificate is not active right now,” said Molly Horstman, who oversees the new review setup that state officials call Compass, Thursday.
Horstman, who spent two years in a New Orleans classroom, said the lack of a teaching certificate has nothing to do with her current post, which pays $77,000 per year.
“My job does not require that I go into the classroom to teach right now,” she said.
Horstman, 27, said she did not take the steps needed to renew her certificate, which is typically required for teachers every few years.
But state Rep. Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge, said Horstman should have a teaching certificate so that, if required to do so, she could enter a classroom and demonstrate proper teaching methods “to provide the kind of assistance a teacher would need.”
This is absolutely ridiculous. This person only has two years of experience in the classroom as a Teach for America teacher in New Orleans, and now she gets to dictate how teachers teach and how their work will be evaluated! In what other profession do such inexperienced people hold such high positions of authority and influence? Did they send soldiers straight out of boot camp to run the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? Do fresh medical school graduates get appointed to state and federal medical oversight posts? Does an attorney with two years of experience who let his law license lapse get to become the new state attorney general? Absolutely not! 

However, this practice seems to be just fine when it comes to education. It is as if everyone thinks that since they sat in a classroom for 13 years as a student (remember kindergarten) that they know how to run a classroom and school effectively. I've spent plenty of time inside of Walmart during my life, but I'm sure they are not going to appoint me as their CEO anytime soon. 

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