Teacher Evaluation: Should We Look at Evidence of Learning?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody

This post was originally published on Anthony Cody’s blog at Living in Dialog, on March 10.

Anthony Cody spent 24 years working in Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high needs middle school. He is National Board certified, and now leads workshops with teachers focused on Project Based Learning. With education at a crossroads, he invites you to join him in a dialogue on education reform and teaching for change and deep learning. For additional information on Cody’s work, visit his Web site, Teachers Lead. Or follow him on Twitter.

In the mistaken belief that test scores are adequate reflections of learning, we have created vast systems to extract test score data, and now are requiring that this data be incorporated in teacher and principal evaluations across the country. Can we return to an authentic use of evidence and data in teacher evaluations?

The publication of teacher ratings generated by Value Added Models (VAM) in New York has prompted some closer examination of their validity, as I discussed here yesterday. This has brought into the mainstream what was, up until recently, a discussion among academics.
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