While the teachers unions have been quick to jump on the evaluation reform bandwagon in hopes of appearing “reasonable” and “professional,” the real movers and shakers behind the Eval Reform movement are primarily interested in making it easier to fire bad teachers. Their presumption (at least the one conveyed to the press) is that there are a lot of bad teachers out there—how else to explain the deplorable state of public education in America. Never mind that graduation rates are higher than they were in the 40s or 50s and the number of kids from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds taking and passing AP and SAT exams is higher than ever.
Yet where in all this hysteria about rotten schools and our duty to the poor, innocent children is the scrutiny of the administrators, the ones who are ultimately responsible for all that occurs in their schools?
In Los Angeles Unified (LAUSD), Superintendent Deasy fired the entire teaching staff at Miramonte Elementary in response to sexual abuse allegations against two teachers, in a PR game intended to trick the public into thinking he and his under-administrators were doing a good job when, in reality, LAUSD ignored many prior allegations against one of the teachers and lost personnel files on him.
Now, in an unrelated case, LAUSD will have to pay $1.4 million to a fourth-grade special needs student who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a male classmate. The incidents occurred at an after school program where LAUSD failed to provide adequate supervision. There was only one staffer supervising up to 100 students at a time. Consequently, the boy was able to take the 9-year-old to various secluded locations on campus away and sexually abuse her. The girl’s attorney said the district “minimized her harm throughout the trial,” according to the Los Angeles Times, and the “jury found that offensive.”
But hey, $1.4 million is chump change, right? No administrators will be punished. Business as usual will continue. And everyone can go back to presuming the classrooms are filled with pervy teachers protected by selfish unions.