Saturday, September 4, 2010

EPI Briefing Paper -- Problems with the Use of Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers

In terms of education reform, this is probably the biggest story to come over the wires in a long time:
While there are good reasons for concern about the current system of teacher evaluation, there are also good reasons to be concerned about claims that measuring teachers’ effectiveness largely by student test scores will lead to improved student achievement. If new laws or policies specifically require that teachers be fired if their students’ test scores do not rise by a certain amount, then more teachers might well be terminated than is now the case. But there is not strong evidence to indicate either that the departing teachers would actually be the weakest teachers, or that the departing teachers would be replaced by more effective ones. There is also little or no evidence for the claim that teachers will be more motivated to improve student learning if teachers are evaluated or monetarily rewarded for student test score gains.
Read the paper here, then take a look at Kenneth J. Bernstein's detailed analysis and Joseph's brief explanation of why we should listen to Donald Rubin.

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