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View Diary: Keep it Simple, Stupid for Public Education (105 comments)

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  •  It's not that you can't evaluate teachers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, dolfin66, Blue Knight

    it's that you can't judge them by test scores alone. You need to walk in the classroom, see how they teach, watch how the students react, see how the students perform, know how the students have progressed. You need to talk to the teachers who have the same students before and after.

    Judging a teacher based solely on test scores makes as much sense as selecting a computer by the size of the case.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 02:39:58 PM PDT

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    •  And how many teachers do you think... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dolfin66

      would be in favor of evaluating teachers on student test scores along with all the other stuff you mentioned?

      Because I have no problem with that (that's why I mentioned mitigating factors). Let the haggling over exact breakdown begin! lols

      I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

      by punditician on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:05:27 PM PDT

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      •  Actually most teachers I've spoken with (0+ / 0-)

        are very interested in their test scores, very interested in knowing what they can to do raise them, and when I've talked to people on a policy level, they're very happy to have it informing the process.

        That is, it's very appropriate and even helpful to take a teacher who has low scores and then to look and figure out what's up with that. Is it the kids she gets? Is it that she's missing test prep? Is it that the kids are missing fundamentals from earlier grades? Is it that she isn't covering the material? Is it that she's focused on other important material, like science, or raising her kids up to grade level in reading? Is it because she shows videos all day? Is it because she has no lesson plans?

        You need to do the same with high scores - what produced high scores that year?

        From my point of view, it should be the beginning of the conversation. It shouldn't be a determining factor. I would say the same about, say, a cardiologist's survival rates.

        No principal should be forced to fire a teacher because of low test scores. No principal should be forced to keep a teacher because of high test scores.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:13:17 PM PDT

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        •  lol "informing the process". (0+ / 0-)

          Have fun with that.

          I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

          by punditician on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:17:53 PM PDT

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          •  Care to be more explicit? (0+ / 0-)

            Do you not believe me? You can even read some of the LA Times articles about the value-add analysis they did. Almost all the teachers say they wish they had had the information available to them before now.

            But, they don't want to be judged solely on factors they don't control, and the analysis the TImes did, for example, can predict 3rd grade performance from the name of  the child's 4th grade teacher.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:27:57 PM PDT

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            •  "informing the process" is just euphemistic for (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dolfin66

              "no way, no day will any decision about my professional life be made with student test performance being a significant formal part".

              So yah... have fun with that.

              I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

              by punditician on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:49:06 PM PDT

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              •  Well, that was my wording, not theirs (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RosyFinch

                Let me ask you this:

                Would you evaluate an essay solely based on how many words it contained?

                The nice thing is that it's easy to count. Computers can do it, there's no dispute. But, it might discard some of the best writing and embrace some of the worst.

                There are rubrics for evaluating essays, short answers, business plans, proposals, etc, and most of them contain some human judgement. There's no reason we can't do the same for teachers.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:09:33 PM PDT

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                •  It's funny because... (0+ / 0-)

                  you're the only one here using the word "solely".

                  If that single word is the entirety of your argument, just stop, bro.

                  I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

                  by punditician on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:11:01 PM PDT

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                  •  I don't know how much reading you do (0+ / 0-)

                    in this area, but there are absolutely many reformers... including I might add NCLB and RTTT legislation ... that believe fervently in firing teachers based solely on test scores.

                    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                    by elfling on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:23:04 PM PDT

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                    •  Again.... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dolfin66

                      the difference between necessary conditions and sufficient conditions....

                      I suppose, for the dim, I might add that they word "solely" functions somewhat differently when prefixed to the one, rather than the other.

                      For example: Just because a dude gets canned "solely" for spewing racial epithets is in no way the same as saying that dude's performance is judged "solely" on his ability to refrain from spewing said epithets.

                      Sigh. We're a stupid, stupid country.

                      I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

                      by punditician on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:34:17 PM PDT

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          •  I would say also (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RosyFinch

            having watched scores carefully in my daughter's district, that the data is extremely noisy.

            This is a small school, about 20 kids per grade... so one family moving in or out can change scores quite a bit. All the kids have the same sequence of teachers, which makes for more clarity than other schools may have.

            By my judgement, all the teachers are very good: bright, interested, creative people, with relatively strong backgrounds in science and math.

            What I see as I watch the classes march through is that each class seems to peak or trough at a different grade. That is, one class really tanked in 3rd and had really top scores in 5th. Another class was weak in 5th but had great scores in 3rd. You don't at all, in this school, see a result that suggests that one teacher has consistently better results every year than any of the others. But, you do see that all of them have had years where the scores were disappointing and all have had years where the scores are super.

            What larger studies show is that the analyses don't show consistent results. That is, a teacher judged excellent for test scores last year is not necessarily going to be excellent with the next data set collected. I don't have the study at my fingertips, but I recall that the correlation was on order 50%.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:41:37 PM PDT

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      •  So, how come.... (0+ / 0-)

        nobody has come up with an evaluation matrix that encompasses all those things?

        "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

        by dolfin66 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:44:03 PM PDT

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