Reading Ms. at the gym today, I was reminded that one of the many reasons women are disproportionately impacted by cuts to public education and social services is because women disproportionately fill the jobs in those fields: teachers, social workers, nurses, etc.
This got me to thinking about value-added assessment as a year-to-year salary and job security "tool". Specifically, what does that structure do for teachers who wish to have a child?
Since the majority of teachers are women, and assuming something other than the temporary corps of Teach for Some Experience about America for My Resume, many teachers are going to take maternity leave during their career. Twelve weeks out of thirty five is a lot, and no matter how much planning goes into it, a long-term sub is not the teacher. It's likely that children's test scores will be impacted by a teacher's leave.
So that teacher who chooses to have a child may be gambling with her job. Unpleasant. In most jobs requiring the same educational preparation as teaching, that kind of pressure is sex discrimination. Something tells me that New York City public schools aren't intending to make any kind of allowances for that. I doubt the great male minds at the Gates Foundation have thought of this, and Enron was a notoriously sexist climate so I'll bet John Arnold hasn't either.
Of course, if you do have an endless stream of two-years-and-outers, this isn't really an issue. It's only when teachers want to stay and work that they develop these adult lives and become such a drag on the system.