Two weeks ago I had the privilege of being a guest speaker for a class that consisted of teachers in their second and third year of teaching. These energetic teachers had spent the previous class discussing characteristics of an effective teacher, and their top characteristics were: passion and determination. Those two characteristics provided the launching pad for our discussion. My question to them and to everyone I encounter that mentions the importance of a passionate and determined teacher remains constant. How do you measure passion and determination?

In light of my most recent conversations with educators from across the valley I must change my question. Now, we must determine the point value for passion and determination. Oh yes, educators across Arizona are speaking about points. Why? It’s time for a reduction in force. Seniority is out, so points are in. The categories that comprise these rubrics range from Endorsements to Student Achievement. The point value within each category covers the gamut as well. Perhaps you can earn 1 point for each endorsement, but with a maximum of 3 points. Maybe you presented at two staff meetings, so that will earn you one point under the category of Leadership that has a maximum of 4 points. I haven’t heard any mention of being an effective presenter, but that might bring in half points, which could get confusing. Of course the greatest point value is in the area of Student Achievement. I have yet to hear of a district that is using more than one measure for this critical component. The dynamics of an ELD classroom compared to a Mainstream classroom seem to be unclear as well. 

Clear or unclear, it appears that a point system is coming to a district near you. How many points will I be worth? How many points will you be worth? All of this talk about point systems has me thinking that this might be the answer to our budget issues in Arizona. We could develop a point system for kids. The rubric categories could range from Socioeconomic Status to English Proficiency. The students with certain point totals could attend school. Students below a certain point total could not attend school. We could save millions of dollars by educating only a chosen few. I may be on to something here…


Daniela A. Robles

Daniela A. Robles

Phoenix, Arizona

I am a teacher and beginning my fourteenth year of teaching in Arizona’s public schools. The greatest lessons I learned were from teaching first grade for ten years. My inspirations stem from these past few years where my classroom has ranged from the Intervention Room to the Coaches’ Room.

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