While Weingarten says all the right things and uses all the necessary poll-tested phrases, she really wants to maintain the status quo. No tenure reform. No need to judge teachers by any measure other than seniority.
But in an interview with Newsweek, she made this curious statement, in response to Bill Gates saying, “We need to measure what they do, and then have incentives for the other teachers to learn those things:”
“Football teams do this all the time,” Weingarten responded. “They look at the tape after every game. Sometimes they do it during the game. They’re constantly deconstructing what is working and what isn’t working. And they’re jettisoning what isn’t working and building up on what is working, and doing it in a teamlike approach."
That’s correct – they do. It’s too bad that public education does not operate more like the NFL.
Here’s an idea. Let’s have the NEA and AFT become the owners of a new NFL franchise. For a lack of a better name, we’ll call the new team the Thugs.
Players on the Thugs' roster would receive tenure after two years, like they do in New York City Public Schools. They can play on the Thugs as long as they’d like, regardless of their skill level. And players would be judged not for their ability to score touchdowns or sack quarterbacks, but the number of years they’ve been in the NFL.
Over time, the Thugs’ roster would be filled with 50- and 60-year old players, raking in the big bucks while losing game after game.
Does anyone believe that the hypothetical Thugs, with their incredible job security, would be competitive with the teams that compensate players based on their performance and frequently alter their rosters to maintain an edge?
It would be wonderful if public education would operate more like the NFL, where you get paid for results and released for incompetence. Maybe then American K-12 students would receive the instruction they truly deserve.