E-valuating Teaching: It Doesn’t Add Up–An Art of Teaching Science Inquiry

Latest Story [restabs alignment=”osc-tabs-left” pills=”nav-pills” responsive=”true” icon=”true” text=”More” tabcolor=”#246820″ seltabcolor=”#3d52c6″] [restab title=”Research” active=”active”]You might want to visit this site to see the research on value-added modeling.[/restab] [restab title=”A Teacher Speaks Out”]John Spencer, an Arizona middle school teacher wrote a post that described his experience with the value-added model. He reports that one of his students […]

Why Chetty’s Value-Added Model Studies Leave Me Unconvinced

Latest Story This is another significant analysis of the use of VAM scores that are being used to make tenure and retention decisions about teachers. If you haven’t read any of Dr. O’Neil’s articles, here is a great one to start with, especially given the Vergara v California tentative decision in Los Angeles. Originally posted […]

Are the Deep Pockets of Gates, Walton, and Broad Contrary to the Ideals of Education in a Democracy?

Latest Story According to the Foundation Center, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation are ranked 1, 13, and 38 respectively on the top 100 U.S. foundations by total giving.  The total assets of these three foundations as of April 2014 was $37 billion for the Gates […]

The Absurdity of Teacher Evaluation Systems

  There was an article today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that really got my gander up.  The article, written by AJC blogger Maureen Downey, was entitled Grading on a curve.  The article was about teacher evaluation systems.  Downey’s article focused on classroom observation systems, indicating that only 22% of teachers will be evaluated with student […]

Third Strike Against Teacher Evaluation Schemes: Brave New Parents Opt Out

The headline in Thursday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution was “Parents push back on required testing.” Could the movement to Opt Out of high-stakes testing be the third strike against using high stakes testing to rate teachers? In an earlier post, two studies were reviewed that cast doubt on the use of VAM scores  (which are based on student achievement […]

Two Strikes Against Teacher Evaluation Schemes

Two curve balls were thrown at the movement to evaluate teachers using student tests scores and classroom observations.  Both were strikes! Attempts to evaluate teachers have focused on classroom observations of teacher performance, and the contributions (value added) teachers make to student test score gains. Two studies were published recently, casting doubt on the use […]

Why Achievement Test Scores are Poor Indicators of Student Learning and Teacher Effectiveness

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has established a single variable as the way to reward and punish schools, teachers, students and their parents.  The fact that I have used the terms “rewards” and punishments” is evidence enough that the ED is stuck in 19th century psychology. In 2001, the Congress approved the No Child […]

Will Georgia Follow Florida and Release Teacher VAM-Like Scores?

  Will Georgia follow Florida by releasing teacher VAM-like scores?  In Florida’s case, the Florida Times-Union released links to all 116,723 teachers’ VAM scores in an extraordinary unethical move that has happened other locations, including New York, and California. The Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) will have two or more sets of data on every […]

The Gobbledygook of Florida Teacher Evaluations

  Figure 1. Words used to describe the statistical model used to evaluate a classroom teacher in Florida! Earlier this week, Florida released the VAM scores of its teachers.  Disturbing to say the least.  The Florida Times-Union released links to teacher VAM data for the past two years. There are 116,723 teachers listed in the […]

If You Think Student Output as Measured by Achievement Tests Is a Way to Evaluate Teachers, You’d Be Plug Wrong!

If You Think Student Output as Measured by Achievement Tests Is a Way to Evaluate Teachers, You’d Be Plug Wrong! What will it take to convince school boards, departments of education and administrators that using student achievement scores, one of the outputs that we constantly measure in American schools, is not a scientific nor ethical […]

If You Think Student Output as Measured by Achievement Tests Is a Way to Evaluate Teachers, You'd Be Plug Wrong!

If You Think Student Output as Measured by Achievement Tests Is a Way to Evaluate Teachers, You’d Be Plug Wrong! What will it take to convince school boards, departments of education and administrators that using student achievement scores, one of the outputs that we constantly measure in American schools, is not a scientific nor ethical […]

Learning from the Elections in Atlanta and New York

Latest Story Last week, a new mayor was elected in New York, Atlanta reelected its mayor, and elected a new slate of members to the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Board of Eduction.  What can we learn from the elections in these two cities? Will education in New York set the stage for a large-scale rethinking of […]

How Much Does It Cost to Find Great Teachers in Georgia? Answer: $60 Million

We’re spending a lot of money to find great teachers in Georgia.  Admittedly, Georgia isn’t the only state where this is happening.   Thanks to the Race to the Top Fund, the race is on to implement a system to score teachers based on pre-post test scores. The $4 billion Race the Top Fund, which […]

Georgia Teacher Evaluations: All Trick, No Treat

EmpowerED Georgia published an “infomercial” on teacher evaluations just in time for Halloween, and on the heels of a report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). NCTQ is a Washington-based group funded in large part by The Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation and Walton Family Foundation. NCTQ is also a purveyor of “junk […]

Letter Number One to Governor Deal and State School Superintendent Barge of Georgia

Dear Governor Deal and Superintendent Barge, As sitting elected officials of Georgia, the next year will challenge each of you to think courageously about your views of K-12 education and the basis for your positions. Since you will be running against each other in the primary next year, you will have many opportunities to talk […]

Georgia's High-Stakes Plan Based on Erroneous Conclusions

“High-stakes plan could change teachers pay,” is the title of an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution paper. The article is a good review of the history behind why the state is going to move to “merit” pay, and how the Race to Top grant that Georgia won in 2010 provided the funds and a mandate […]

Georgia’s High-Stakes Plan Based on Erroneous Conclusions

“High-stakes plan could change teachers pay,” is the title of an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution paper. The article is a good review of the history behind why the state is going to move to “merit” pay, and how the Race to Top grant that Georgia won in 2010 provided the funds and a mandate […]

Trojan Horse On Midnight Ride to Manage How Georgia Teachers Will Be Paid

Latest Story When the state of Georgia received a half billion dollars of Race to the Top funds from the U.S. Department of Education, it agreed to carry out several mandates, but two that stand out are: Adopt the Common Core State Standards Use Student Tests Scores as a Metric for Evaluating Teacher Performance In […]

A Heads Up for Georgia Teachers: The Problem with VAM Scores

Guest post by John Spencer John Spencer, who I met online after reading his blog, is a middle school computers and journalism teacher, passionate about authentic learning, social justice and critical thinking in a digital world.  Follow him at his blog. Reblogged from John Spencer’s blog on Arizona Stories from School. Arizona is one of […]