This space explores issues in public education policy, and it advocates for a commitment to and a re-examination of the democratic purposes of schools. If there is some urgency in the message, it is due to the current reform efforts that are based on a radical re-invention of education, now spearheaded by a psychometric blitzkrieg of "metastasizing testing" aimed at dismantling a public education system that took almost 200 years to build. JH August, 2005
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The wrong way to evaluate teachers
Sent to the Los Angeles Daily News, April 13
LAUSD stubbornly insists on evaluating teachers on gains students make on standardized tests, called "value-added" scores ("LAUSD unveils plan to evaluate teachers, principals," April 12). This is a bad idea.
Different tests produce different value-added scores, and teachers' value-added ratings can vary from year to year, sometimes quite a bit.
Also, using value-added scores for evaluation encourages gaming the system, trying produce increases in test scores by teaching test-taking strategies, not by encouraging real learning. This is like putting a match under the thermometer and claiming you have raised the temperature of the room.