Scoring Teachers: Perversion by Policymakers

Policymakers have perverted teaching, and reduced the evaluation of teachers to a number based on questionable and unreliable data.   Not only do researchers at major universities caution policymakers about using Value-Added Models (VAMs), but using such a system that is based on student test scores will destroy the central character of teaching.

Wordle based on On Teaching by Kahlil Gibran, The Profit.

As a teacher I have always been guided by several core principles to help my students learn.  … Read more

Charter Schools: Education’s New Elixir?

In her new book, Dr. Lisa Delpit suggests that the original idea of charter school has been corrupted.  She explains that originally, charter schools were designed to be “beacons” for educational excellence.  Charter schools were to be designed to develop new approaches to teaching, especially for the most challenging populations of children.  Their results were to be shared with other public schools.

As Dr. Delpit explains, the initial concept has been corrupted.  She explains:

Now, because of the insertion of the “market model,” charter schools often shun the very students they were intended to help.

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Suspicions About the Atlanta Journal’s Investigation into Cheating Across the Nation

On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Cox newspaper published the results of its investigation into “cheating” in American schools.  The article was entitled Suspicious Scores Across the Nation, and you can read it by following the link. The article was subtitled “Cheating Our Children.”

I was immediately suspicious of the report that the Journal-Constitution published.  They have put into place an agressive team of watchdog reporters, database specialists, and investigative reporters.  In whose interest motivates this team and this newspaper?  … Read more

End Punitive Testing: Occupy the DOE in DC, March 30 – April 2

United OPT OUT NATIONAL is organizing an Occupy the Department of Education (DOE) in Washington, D.C. March 30 – April 2, 2012.

Anthony Cody, on his blog Living in Dialog, interviewed two education activists who are part of the leadership spearheading the Occupy the DOE next week.  Anthony interviewed Ceresta Smith, a 23-year veteran teacher and National Board Certified teacher, and Timothy D. Slekar, founding member of United Opt Out and associate professor teacher education.  … Read more

I dare you to measure the “value” I add

Guest Post by Donna McKenna

This was first published on March 8 on Donna McKenna’s blog, No Sleep ’til Summer.  She is an elementary ESL teacher passionate about language learners and language learning.  Published with permission.

Note: This post is a continuation of yesterday’s post entitled Quality Teaching: We’re Looking in the Wrong Place.  Evaluating teachers using Value-Added Modeling is shameful and degrading, not only because VAM is unscientific and a fraud, but because it does an enormous disservice to professional teachers and their students.… Read more