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Student Achievement Linked Teacher Evaluations and the NYTimes

Hi, 

This is my first post here - and I confess that I did not look to see if there were already similar posts.

This weekend I've read both (Sat and Sun) NYTimes pieces on the release of teacher rating data.

Until this weekend I'd been all for linking teacher evaluation to student performance.

To an extent I still am, but the model used, and the current popular value added component will have some unacceptable consequences.

First - the data is old and does not account for any improvement in a teacher's craft.

The data used and released needs to be closer to the school year examined.

Second - the margin of error is entirely too big.  I not offering what would be acceptable, but 53% is definitely not.

Until the margin of error can be brought down, this data is potentially harmful to a teacher's career.

Third - by directly linking a person's job security to the students on their roster, will at the least stifle, and most likely end any team teaching or grouping of students within or among grade levels.  Furthermore, what would happen to students benefiting from the collective wisdom of their teachers - if teachers are no longer collectively working?

What if we applied this value added student achievement model to grade levels, or to a school?  We could then still work collaboratively, and it would encourage it. 

As educators we do need to see what works best and apply it, and we need to keep the best performers in the field. 

This is not that way.

 

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