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 […]

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 […]

A Systems Thinker Reviews The Atlanta Public Schools’ Performance in Reading & Math

Latest Story People are asking for better schools, with no clear idea how to improve eduction, or even how to define improvement of education (except to increase test performance on high-stakes tests). Most people are in favor of improving education.  But when asked how would they improve education, the suggestions are insufficient, and in some […]

A Systems Thinker Reviews The Atlanta Public Schools' Performance in Reading & Math

Latest Story People are asking for better schools, with no clear idea how to improve eduction, or even how to define improvement of education (except to increase test performance on high-stakes tests). Most people are in favor of improving education.  But when asked how would they improve education, the suggestions are insufficient, and in some […]

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’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 […]

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 […]

K-12 Education Viewed Through the Lens of Conservative Values & World-View

Note: this is the second in a series of posts on the effect of conservative & progressive values on K-12 education. Progressive values should set the ideals of teaching, and learning in American society.  Unfortunately, the “cloud of authoritarianism looms over education, making it very difficult to design instruction around progressive values.  We’ll refer to […]

K-12 Education Viewed Through the Lens of Conservative Values & World-View

Note: this is the second in a series of posts on the effect of conservative & progressive values on K-12 education. Progressive values should set the ideals of teaching, and learning in American society.  Unfortunately, the “cloud of authoritarianism looms over education, making it very difficult to design instruction around progressive values.  We’ll refer to […]

The Testing Games: How America's Youth are being put at Risk

Note: This is the third in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing. Starting tomorrow every American girl and boy in grades 3- 8 will participate in the testing games, an annual competition to determine which schools are good or bad, whether they have a good teacher or […]

The Testing Games: How America’s Youth are being put at Risk

Note: This is the third in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing. Starting tomorrow every American girl and boy in grades 3- 8 will participate in the testing games, an annual competition to determine which schools are good or bad, whether they have a good teacher or […]

The Power, Privilege, and Injustice of Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. The authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing movement conjure up for me the use of power and privilege to create injustices for not only schools and teachers, but for students and their parents.  Using invalid test scores, the […]

The Power, Privilege, and Injustice of Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. The authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing movement conjure up for me the use of power and privilege to create injustices for not only schools and teachers, but for students and their parents.  Using invalid test scores, the […]

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 […]

Quality Teaching: We're Looking in the Wrong Places

According to a number of researchers (Marder, Ravitch, Darling-Hammond) our system of education is failing a huge number of students, especially in mathematics, and science.  Since 2003, when the NCLB Act was put into place that required schools to test all students beginning in grade 3, the Federal control by the U.S. Department of Eduction […]

Quality Teaching: We’re Looking in the Wrong Places

According to a number of researchers (Marder, Ravitch, Darling-Hammond) our system of education is failing a huge number of students, especially in mathematics, and science.  Since 2003, when the NCLB Act was put into place that required schools to test all students beginning in grade 3, the Federal control by the U.S. Department of Eduction […]