Student Performance to be Judged by Happiness of Teachers

While media attention is focused on Obama’s poorly considered and ultimately dangerous Iran “deal”, the Senate is attempting to undertake the difficult business of overhauling American education policy. And one of the Senate’s top Democrats on education matters wants to deem American kids literate and numerate if… teachers are happy!

I wish this were a joke. Sadly it is not. From an amendment to the Senate education bill [mc_name name=’Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M001111′ ] filed just the other night:

Beginning on page 53, strike line 6 and all that follows through page 58, line 25, and insert the following:

Establishes measurable State-designed goals for all students and separately for each of the categories of students in the State… which shall be based on a composite of the following indicators:

[…]

educator engagement, such as educator satisfaction

(emphasis mine)

Yes. [mc_name name=’Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M001111′ ] wants American kids to be deemed ready for college and our education systems successful and awesome regardless of whether kids can read, write and do math. They’re good to go, so long as their teachers are happy.

Murray also thinks that if kids just turn up to class, regardless of whether they’ve actually learned anything, that should count towards college-readiness – that’s spelled out in the same amendment.

At the moment, it looks like [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] may be preventing this kind of crap from actually being voted on, but [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] is – in typical [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] style – threatening to prevent full Senate consideration of the bill if amendments like this don’t get a hearing.

This would almost be funny, if it weren’t, like, important.