Ending Bumping

Perhaps no practice is a better distillation of the blight that is teacher unionization than bumping. I’m with Julia Steiny in thinking that it ought to end, but the suggestions of the Business Education Partnership that she describes in her column, yesterday, are worth considering as half-way measures:

To professionalize education personnel practices, Blais and her colleagues put the focus squarely on evaluation. Rhode Island is one of only a handful of states that do not mandate that teachers be evaluated. In fact, most Rhode Island teachers are never evaluated in any meaningful or helpful way.
Blais says the key to an effective and fair evaluation system is to use several different measures, instead of just one principal’s say-so. Evaluations should include objective, quantifiable information, such as student achievement, as well as administrator and peer observations. The resulting evaluations should place teachers at one of four levels: master, pre-master, basic and below basic.
With these categories in hand, teachers would no longer be interchangeable. Any teacher with two consecutive below-basic evaluations could be let go. (At last!) No basic teacher could bump a master, no matter how long he or she has been in the system. Only master teachers should be peer evaluators.

It is an abomination that, in a profession that begs for inspiration, we permit no measure of quality.

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George Elbow
George Elbow
16 years ago

We look forward to NEA Executive Director Bob Walsh’s justification for bumping. It will go something like: All tenured teachers are competent. The bad ones don’t stay in the profession, as the long hours over 180 days takes a toll on the less competent candidates. We can not leave the promotion of teachers to the Political whims of managment …blah, blah, blah. This is just another in a long line of examples of why people have no respect for the Unions. They REFUSE to embrace the free market and competition. They REFUSE to allow the market and competition to determine their worth. They prefer a system devoid of incentive, one in which the worst get paid the same as the best, where job security is based on the date of hire versus merit. Indeed, they prefer that everyone be treated the same, marching in lock step like a herd of mindless sheep. And then they wonder why our schools are failing. We need a legislature that has the guts to make RI a “right to work state”. There are many teachers that are fed up with the Union’s infatuation with mediocrity, but they are stifled and intimidated by Union hacks. Let’s see if Bob Walsh would be open to RI being a “right to work” state and then we’ll see if his flock grows or scatters. Similar to Bob Walsh being so adamently against 401k style pension plans in which the employee takes on some free market risk associated with the Pension fund’s “earnings” that Bob loves to hang his hat on when foolishly & falsely saying the fund can be self sustaining, Bob would never be open to such a suggestion. After all, Bob’s flock of sheep are ENTITLED to GAURANTEED pension payments, GUARANTEED salary increases and GAURANTEED job… Read more »

16 years ago

Steve kass bumps Bob Warren. You guys applauded.

Justin Katz
16 years ago

Yeah, David: so enthusiastic was I that I titled a post on the subject, “Oh Come On”!
But what’s reality in the face of blog-comment one-liners?

16 years ago

“Steve kass bumps Bob Warren.”
Wrong. No one was bumped.
Management – the Governor, in this case – made the determination that Mr. Warren failed to carry out his job adequately and he was let go. A replacement was found in due course. [It wasn’t Steve Kass, by the way.]
This is exactly what doesn’t happen in Rhode Island public school systems. Thanks to both local school committees and the General Assembly who reward and promote only longevity and who exercise their management power to impose precious few other standards, poorly performing educators are not identified and let go but are allowed to keep their job, sometimes even bumping better teachers out of the system. And it is our children’s education which suffers.

16 years ago

I don’t believe that every school district in the state uses the same system of job selection. Check with Whiney Steiny.

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