Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day, as well as National Teacher Appreciation Week. In various ways, millions of people are thanking their teachers for having made a difference in their lives, including President Obama, who held an official function at the White House today honoring the National Teacher of the Year.
But a couple of other things are happening today as well.
First, late last night, the Tennessee State Senate voted to end collective bargaining among public school teachers. The House Finance Committee is expected to take up the bill this afternoon, and, if it makes it through the committee, it is widely expected to pass. The law, if signed, would end 33 years of collective bargaining for many Tennessee teachers.
Second, today, the New York City Department of Education, the United Federation of Teachers, and various mass media outlets will head to an Appellate Court to present arguments on whether NYC teachers’ value-added effectiveness scores (contained with the city’s “teacher data reports”) will become public information. If so, as was the case in Los Angeles, it is likely that several major media outlets in the area will publish the names and scores of individual teachers, and that this will also set a precedent for the same thing to occur in other states and districts across the nation.
So, it’s Teacher Appreciation Day. While millions of individuals honor teachers, our nation’s institutions are going public with teacher performance ratings and stripping teachers of their right to a say in their own working conditions.
I’m betting teachers don’t appreciate it.