Monday, November 7, 2011

a loosely formed post this will be.

I was thinking about the debate of using test scores to evaluate teachers. If it is used like the test scores are currently, there is no value added equation and only proficient status "wins". This would mean a class of low performing students would mean the teacher would be fired even if if is a historically low group due to external factors. This is a bad idea. But let's say,same teacher same school over time her students and her classroom scores are dropping year after year compared to neighboring classrooms of statistically similar students. Not just one student skewing if but the majority. Shouldn't this teacher be let go?
I know I am rather against the tests and validity thereof. Yes they are valid measures of what is learned but eeally just a subset of knowledge and skills necessary for life. So judging a teacher just on scores is but a piece of the puzzle. Get pocketbooks (via unions, textbook and testing companies) out of the deal and get a fuller picture of teachers. Utilize more "fuzzy" data, informative such as portfolios and grades scaled on a stakeholder created and approved rubric. As if we just use test scores, not only are we (validly) assessing just a knowledge/skill subset but setting things up for failure, the teachers will cheat to save their jobs and students will purposely fail if they decide they do not like the teacher even if because she/he told you' " no ipods in class today" - students
will know a teacher's entire future is in their hands and that responsibility lies anywhere but on them.

why must all solutions be so black and white? I see it as gray and entirely plausible, possible, effective.

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