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 science.”

Real Scary Stuff

As scary as the evaluation system is in Georgia, for 34 other states, teachers will be evaluated using student test score gains, an absurd metric given all the variables that affect student performance on high-stakes tests.  The NCTQ report is a survey of what methods the states are using to test teachers.  Nothing wrong with that.  However, when you add a layer of NCTQ policy that is an amalgam of such recommendations as requiring student test scores as the criterion in any teacher evaluation system, tenure must be tied to student test scores, compensation must be tied to student test scores, teachers are dismissed based on student test scores, out of state candidates licenses must be based on test scores, and teacher prep programs must to tied to student test scores.

The conclusions in their report are based on bias, and not on sound science.




About Jack Hassard

Jack Hassard is a writer, a former high school teacher, and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University.