Friday, February 24, 2012

Odd Criterion

Via Diane Ravitch:
But one sentence in the agreement shows what matters most: “Teachers rated ineffective on student performance based on objective assessments must be rated ineffective overall.” What this means is that a teacher who does not raise test scores will be found ineffective overall, no matter how well he or she does with the remaining sixty percent. In other words, the 40 percent allocated to student performance actually counts for 100 percent. Two years of ineffective ratings and the teacher is fired.
So why not be transparent and make the student performance count for 100%? Unless the goal is to allow teachers who are effective at improving standardized test scores be removed for other reasons. I love the idea of trying to ensure that education is of high quality. But high stakes evaluations of complex behavior based on a simple metric seems . . . unwise. I am sure Mark will have a lot more to say about this newest entry in the Education Reform debate.


  1. I guess you could look at it the other way - that principals might keep an "incompetent" teacher by rating them highly on the non-standardised test component e.g. through friendship, blackmail etc.

    It's all a farce anyway while teachers proctor the exams and handle the exam papers.

  2. Standardized test scores are mediocre measures at best.

    Also I can think of several schools where I could show up, be a lousy teacher, and still the students would meet the standards.

    These days, teachers spend class time preparing students for a standardized test. we have students who know how to take a test better.

  3. This really is a place where we should have listened to economics about the importance of incentives.