Teacher Evaluation Based on Student Performance Data

Click here for an important ETS report recently published.

I’d suggest that you read this report and make your own conclusions about what it compels us to re-think about use of student performance data.  This is hot off the press, and these are my immediate responses to the report:

1.  While the report cautions us about any- (and certainly over-) use of so-called “value added” student performance data in evaluation of teacher effectiveness, nothing in this report compels me (or others) to stop using “pure growth” data to coach and make decisions about teacher performance.

2.  I’d go beyond the report in thinking about deeper uses of “pure growth” data.  For practitioners, when we rely heavily on good growth data, generated from the use of adaptive test technologies that can be reviewed at the individual student and strand levels, we get the following:

a.  mid-course correction ideas for teachers and their students to      enable more efficient content scaffolding, intervention, and    acceleration of teaching strategies

b.  glimpses into individual teacher effectiveness at specific levels to increase our constructive instructional coaching opportunities

c.  building-block data that can be aggregated to more accurately scrutinize teacher, grade-level, and school-wide effectiveness

If the goal is to improve teaching, hold teachers and all educators FAIRLY accountable, then we must learn from and respond to quality research pieces such as this ETS publication.  We must not let ideology and politically-driven policy trump good research.  I remain a fan of performance-based pay and performance-based teacher evaluation.  Like many of you, I remain a skeptic of those who force ideology and play to politically-driven policy in our field.  Let politics get good policy work done.  Especially with teacher evaluation, we should not let policy work drive politics for the sake of politics.

What did I miss?

JW

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