"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, August 20, 2012

Educational Groups Only Oppose INVALID Ways of Measuring Teacher Accountability

Sent to the Los Angeles Times, August 20

Educational Groups Only Oppose Invalid Ways of Measuring Teacher Accountability

“A Capitol Force” (August 19) claims that educational groups such as the California Teachers Union are opposed to increased teacher accountability. Not so. These groups are opposed to using measures that base teacher ratings on student test scores.

A number of studies have shown that rating teachers using test score gains does not give consistent results. Different tests produce different ratings, and the same teacher’s ratings can vary from year to year, sometimes quite a bit.

In addition, using test score gains for evaluation encourages gaming the system, trying to produce increases in 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.

We are all interested in finding the best ways of evaluating teachers, but using student test-score gains is a lousy way to do it.

Stephen Krashen

Original article: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cta-20120819,0,2515386.story

1 comment:

  1. This conversation is happening in Pittsburgh. Parents, like me, are being led to believe that teachers are opposed to being measured and the union exists to keep all teachers in the schools (even the bad ones). Even local groups (billed as watchdog groups dedicated to organizing parents), are pushing this idea that in order to have a highly effective teacher in front of your child, the teacher must be measured based on test scores.
    If a parent, like me, insists that test scores should not be used, we are told that since test scores are only a PIECE of the evaluation and multiple measures are being used (VAM and student surveys).
    Hogwash, multiple measures or not, I don't want my child, his teacher, or his school to be measured based on the results of a standardized test.