It is so difficult to base teacher performance on test scores that teachers don’t even have access to until after the student has been promoted to the next grade. Typically, we get state results long after the student has left our classroom. It is also unfortunate that as a society we feel that it is necessary to form some sort of measurement that results in punishment/failure instead of inquiry and change. In my District, there is some forward movement for sharing weekly test/quiz scores among teachers with “timely” data and improving delivery processes based on data. I believe that this system of accountability will ultimately be more effective.
Carol Burris, principal of south side High School in Rockville Center, New York, writes here about the multiple flaws of test-based teacher evaluations.
At an Ed Trust celebration, Duncan told the crowd, “But we can’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good. We can’t let the utopian become the enemy of the excellent. And we can’t let rhetorical purity become the enemy of rigorous practice.” I do not have any idea what the third admonishment means, but I doubt Arne needs to fear that his rhetoric is pure.
So it came as no surprise that when he spoke of Tennessee’s teacher evaluation plan, Mr. Duncan praised the state for “not letting the perfect become the enemy of the good”. The teachers of Tennessee, however, are not seeing the new system as “the good”—they are, for the second time, suing the state because the system is, in their eyes…
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