Stop for a moment and picture a classroom of 20 little Eddies and Edwinas (girls, I know, yeck). The nice teacher one day gets up in front of the room and hands out permission slips for a field trip. “Field trip? Yay!!!” we shout. “Where are we going? The zoo? The science museum? The fire station?”
After she finally gets our class settled down, the teacher says: “No, this is going to be a great new kind of experience. We’re going to go hang out with Occupy Denver! ….”
Huh, what? This imaginary scenario must take place in Denver Public Schools (DPS), because of some very real new language being used to evaluate teachers. High-achieving DPS instructors may want to keep their “distinguished” rating by encouraging students “to question and challenge the dominant culture” and “to work for social justice”? The newly-revised evaluation framework makes these items a priority for DPS teachers in 2012-13.