I have the same concerns about Resolution A-2, the $1M plus Contract Amendment with the New Teacher Project for New Principal Coaching, as I have previously expressed with TNTP’s classroom experience, corporate ed reform bias, and inadequate research methods.
TNTP is an advocacy group founded by Michelle Rhee, a vocal advocate of corporate education reform policies. TNTP has dropped Michelle Rhee and now states on its website that it was founded by teachers. However, only 5 of their 20-member leadership team are former teachers.
This lack of experience is also true of the TNTP directors and leadership coaches in the PhillyPLUS principal training program which the district uses. Of the 13-member PhillyPLUS team of coaches and directors, 7 are former Teach for America corp members with an average of a little over 2 years teaching experience. Only 4 team members had experience as a principal in a public school or charter school. Only 2 of those had more than 4 years experience as a principal. One coach was the founder of 2 Rocketship charters, a chain of charters ABOUT WHICH questions HAVE BEEN raised concerning the time students spend in front of a computer screen, the student-teacher ratio, disciplinary measures, and student health and safety.
TNTP’s research, on which it bases its training, is questionable at best. TNTP’s study on the effects of Michelle Rhee’s reforms on teacher retention in the DC Public Schools (DCPS) raised questions about its sampling strategy, survey response rates and TNTP’s ties to Rhee and the DC Public Schools. Gary Rubinstein describes the study as one that “would not survive any sort of peer review process.”
TNTP’s papers The Widgets and The Irreplaceables raise similar questions concerning their research methods and conclusions.
Heather C. Hill, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, questioned the strength of The Mirage, TNTP’s latest research report on the relationship between teacher professional development programs and growth in teacher evaluation scores. She cites the absence of data to support the validity of their survey items, the likely unreliability and potential inaccuracy of the evaluation data, and in turn the reports conclusions—some of which she describes as “overly broad and not supported by the study’s methods or evidence.” She also notes that they rarely reference the research literature.
Resolution A-2 states that TNTP’s coaching and PD will improve principal performance in using data for informed decisions making. YOU CANNOT justify using an organization that clearly can’t use data to support their own research conclusions to train principals in interpreting data.
Your employment of TNTP has more to do with the business of corporate education reform than real education.
THE SRC, WHICH SAYS REPEATEDLY THAT IT DOES NOT HAVE MONEY TO PAY TEACHERS AND SUPPORT STAFF ADEQUATELY, CANNOT AFFORD TO SPEND MORE ON PROGRAMS OF SUBSTANDARD QUALITY. THE SRC SHOULD VOTE NO ON RESOLUTION A-2.