The Answer Sheet: Evaluation


Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/04/2014

A teacher exposes ‘value-added’ idiocy

A tale about the interaction of high-stakes policies and the real world of a school.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Teacher Evaluation

Posted at 12:18 PM ET, 02/03/2014

The things teachers do for kids that can’t be evaluted

Tweets on what teachers do that can’t be judged by test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:18 PM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Evaluation

Posted at 12:31 PM ET, 01/20/2014

The Education Department’s strange new report on teaching

The report is based on a controversial way of evaluating effective teaching. And the findings should give reformers pause.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:31 PM ET, 01/20/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Evaluation

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 01/13/2014

Weingarten slams teacher evaluation by student test scores

‘It’s time to call the question.’

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 01/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Teacher Evaluation

Posted at 05:20 PM ET, 12/23/2013

Errors found in D.C. teacher evaluations (2nd update)

One teacher was fired as a result.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:20 PM ET, 12/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Teacher Evaluation

Posted at 09:44 AM ET, 06/25/2013

China's new education reform: Reducing importance of test scores

China's new education reform is opposite from the U.S. reform track the United States.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:44 AM ET, 06/25/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Called 'Green Evaluation', China and Education

Posted at 05:59 PM ET, 06/18/2013

Education Department listens to (some) reason

Education Secretary Arne Duncan gives an extra year for implementation of new teacher evaluations linked to Common Core tests.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:59 PM ET, 06/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Arne Duncan, Common Core State Standards, Gives Flexibility on Test-Linked Evaluations, Teacher Evaluation

Posted at 01:24 PM ET, 06/18/2013

New problems with New York's teacher evaluation plan found

An award-winning principal finds new problems with New York's new teacher evaluation program.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:24 PM ET, 06/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Teacher Evaluation, Trouble With APPR

Posted at 12:49 PM ET, 06/16/2013

New Florida law: Teachers can't be evaluated on students they don't have

Why was such a law necessary? Here's why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:49 PM ET, 06/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Really, School Reform, Teacher Evaluation

Posted at 05:02 AM ET, 05/23/2013

The serious risks of rushing new teacher evaluation systems

Many policymakers say we must implement new systems now and fix design flaws later. They are wrong.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:02 AM ET, 05/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Details Matter, Teacher Evaluation

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 05/20/2013

Principal: Why our new educator evaluation system is unethical

The ethical standard by which each evaluation component should be judged -- and why New York's new educator assessment system violates it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 05/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Educator Evaluation, What Makes a Good School

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 05/13/2013

Why video cameras and teacher evaluation do not mix

Here's why one veteran educator thinks Bill Gates' plan to videotape teachers in their classrooms makes no sense.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 05/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Bill Gates, Bill Gates' Big New Idea, Teacher Evaluation

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 04/23/2013

2013 National Teacher of Year: Public education not in crisis

The newly named Teacher of the Year, from Washington State, is not a big fan of all of President Obama's education policies.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 04/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Disagrees With Reformers on Evaluation, Teachers

Posted at 12:58 PM ET, 04/16/2013

D.C. custodial staff were evaluated by student test scores. Really. (update)

How obsessive have school reformers been with linking student standardized test scores to the evaluations of adults in school buildings?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:58 PM ET, 04/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, Evaluation, That's Not All

Posted at 10:59 AM ET, 01/27/2013

Florida ed reform: 'A danger of all this imploding'

Educators in Florida have been screaming for some time about the irrationality of the state's standardized test-based school accountability system -- which is being sold around the country by former governor Jeb Bush as a model for education reform. But now the powerful president of the Florida Senate, Republican Don Gaetz, has become part of the chorus.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:59 AM ET, 01/27/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  School Reform, Teacher Evaluation

Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 01/07/2013

Moco schools chief on new teacher/principal evaluation systems

Here is a new message from Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr about changes to its nationally known educator evaluation systems that the district is being forced to make by the state of Maryland.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:39 AM ET, 01/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Changes Forced By State, Montgomery County Public Schools, Nationally Known Process Forced to Change By State, Teacher Evaluation

Posted at 10:34 AM ET, 11/16/2012

Chris Christie, Randi Weingarten (and Bradley Cooper) on new Newark teachers contract

Here's a video of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten talking -- along with actor Bradley Cooper of all people -- on the MSNBC program "Morning Joe" about the new teachers contract they negotiated in Newark.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:34 AM ET, 11/16/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Morning Joe, On 'Morning Joe', Teacher Contract, Teacher Evaluation, teachers unions

Posted at 04:22 PM ET, 11/09/2012

Value-added teacher assessment hit by Council for Exceptional Children

The Council for Exceptional Children has issued a new position paper that rejects the use of "value-added" systems that link evaluations of teachers -- especially those in the field of special education -- to student standardized test scores and says they are cause "for concern."

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:22 PM ET, 11/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Evaluation, Value-added

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 03/03/2011

Value-added assessment: Theory vs practice

Conflating the importance of teacher quality with the ability to measure it carries big risks, and can lead states, districts and the media to miss the trees for the forest.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 03/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Matthew Di Carlo, Teachers | Tags:  la times, la times teacher, los angeles times, los angeles times teachers, los angeles times teachers series, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, teachers, teachers and value-added, teachers database, value added

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 03/02/2011

The Bill Gates problem in school reform

How our celebrity-obsessed culture affects school reform: If Bill Gates had no money, would anybody care what he has to say about how to fix public schools (especially since he lacks strong evidence to back his positions)?

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 03/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  bill gates, gates foundation, gates interview, school reform, teacher evaluation teacher effectiveness

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 02/03/2011

The VIVA Project: What teachers told Duncan

More than 150 public school teachers put their heads together to devise solutions to problems that most affect their profession. Then they got to do something unusual with their conclusions: present them to Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 02/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, Education Secretary Duncan, Education Secretary Duncan | Tags:  Arne Duncan, The Answer Sheet, VIVA project, education, education secretary duncan, evaluation and teachers, performance-based evaluation, school, teachers

Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 01/21/2011

Say it isn’t so on IMPACT, Mayor Gray

Here’s why I was so disappointed to a plan by D.C. schools officials to have the flawed IMPACT teacher evaluation system reviewed by a Harvard think tank.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:35 PM ET, 01/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools, edulabs, harvard research, harvard thinktank, harvard university, mayor gray, mayor vincent gray, merit pay for teachers, michelle rhee, performance pay, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/19/2011

Is Rhee's key D.C. reform being tossed?

While Michelle Rhee is busy trying to build up a national organization to take on the teachers unions, back in Washington D.C., where she was chancellor for 3 1/2 years, the new mayor may be on the road to taking apart her signature reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  IMPACT, IMPACT evaluation system, IMPACT teacher evaluation, d.c. schools, kaya henderson, mayor vincent gray, michelle rhee, school reform, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, vincent gray

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 01/18/2011

Ravitch: The pitfalls of putting economists in charge of education

Diane Ravitch writes, "It is astonishing to realize the extent to which education debates are now framed and dominated by economists, not by educators or sociologists or cognitive psychologists or anyone else who actually spends time in classrooms."

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 PM ET, 01/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch | Tags:  diane ravitch, gates foundation, gates-funded project, mike rose, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, value-added, value-added measures

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 01/14/2011

The biggest flaw in Gates value-added study

Were the conclusions of a major Gates Foundation study on value-added measures to evaluate teachers predetermined?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 01/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  MET project, MET study, assessing teachers, bill gates, bill gates foundation, gates foundation, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, value-added, value-added measures

Posted at 01:36 PM ET, 01/03/2011

America’s disdain for its children

Americans don’t really think very much of their children. Not really. Just take a look at the world of education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:36 PM ET, 01/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  charter schools, children, poverty, standardized tests, teacher evaluation, teachers

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/07/2010

Assessing teachers without fetishizing test-based reforms

An educator writes that policymakers are fetishizing student scores on standardized tests and using them as a crutch rather than turning to sensible solutions to improve public schools. There are better ways to assess teacher quality, he says.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  assessing teachers, los angeles times, no child left behind, race to the top, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, test scores, value added

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 11/29/2010

What Tom Friedman got wrong about schools and why it matters

The great New York Times columnist Tom Friedman wrote in a recent piece that if he were a cub reporter today, he’d want to be “covering the epicenter of national security -- but that would be the Education Department.” If Friedman the cub reporter had turned in this piece, a veteran education editor would have sent it back, asking him to back up his contentions with research. He’d have a hard time.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 11/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  arne duncan, education secretary arne duncan, performance pay, public schools, school reform, schools, standardized tests, teacher evaluation, the new york times, tom friedman

Posted at 09:40 AM ET, 11/12/2010

What’s wrong with releasing names and scores?

A teacher writing about plans by the NYC Department of Education to release teachers’ names and value-added ratings to the press, says: "Is this sheer stubbornness on the part of school leaders, or do they not understand the harm this would cause?"

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:40 AM ET, 11/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  diana senechal, la times, la times teachers, new york city schools, new york times, new york times teachers, nyc doe, school reform, schools and teachers, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, teachers, the los angeles times, value added, value added assessment

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 11/01/2010

Is D.C.'s teacher evaluation system rigged?

A professor writes about teacher evaluation systems: "The pendulum has simply swung from one end of absurdity to the other; if many systems have historically rated 99 percent of teachers 'satisfactory,' ... we now have in D.C. a system that declares exactly 50 percent of teachers ineffective or minimally effective."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teacher assessment, Teacher assessment, Teacher assessment | Tags:  d.c. and impact, impact, michelle rhee, nyc teacher ratings, rhee legacy, teacher evaluation, teacher ratings, value added measures, value-added

Posted at 09:57 AM ET, 10/29/2010

What Rhee's successor should do first

Michelle Rhee rather gracelessly delivered a parting shot to teachers on her way out of the building, telling them to watch their backs because the teacher evaluation system that she created, IMPACT, can tell who’s good and who’s not. Unfortunately, that’s not quite accurate. It's an unfair system open for abuse and Rhee's successor should move to fix it. Now.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:57 AM ET, 10/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  IMPACT, d.c. schools, kaya henderson, michelle rhee, performance pay, teach assessment, teacher evaluation, teacher preparation

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/19/2010

Reduce standardized testing to improve accountability, school quality

FairTest's Monty Neill writes that reducing the amount of standardized testing, and lowering the stakes connected to the result will result in more accountability and school quality.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 10/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  arne duncan, quality reviews, race to the top, school-based assessments, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, testing

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 10/06/2010

Ravitch: Why teachers should never be rated by test scores

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes: "...Value-added assessment should not be used at all. Never. It has a wide margin of error. It is unstable. A teacher who is highly effective one year may get a different rating the next year depending on which students are assigned to his or her class. Ratings may differ if the tests differ. To the extent it is used, it will narrow the curriculum and promote teaching to tests. Teachers will be mislabeled and stigmatized. Many factors that influence student scores will not be counted at all."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 10/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch | Tags:  diane ravitch, how to assess teache, l.a. times, l.a. times database, los angeles times, ravitch book, rigoberto ruelas, school reform, teacher and suicide, teacher assessment, teacher commits suicide, teacher database, teacher evaluation, teachers, test scores, value added

Posted at 12:11 PM ET, 10/05/2010

Report: Schools, teacher ed programs ignore how kids really learn

James Comer and Robert Pianta write about a new report that says: "Despite big advances in our understanding of how children and adolescents grow and learn, little of that knowledge has found its way into schools or educator preparation programs."

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:11 PM ET, 10/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Research, Research, Research | Tags:  achievement gap, education research, james comer, research, robert pianita, student achievement, teacher education, teacher evaluation, teacher quality

Posted at 04:37 PM ET, 09/28/2010

About the suicide of an L.A. teacher

A Los Angeles teacher took his own life, reportedly depressed because of his evaluation in a database created by the Los Angeles Times. Let's be clear: the newspaper isn't responsible.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:37 PM ET, 09/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers | Tags:  l.a. teacher, la teacher, los angeles teacher, los angeles times, teacher database, teacher evaluation, teacher suicide

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/23/2010

Willingham: 3 key factors in teacher evaluation (beyond the hype of value-added)

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks beyond the hype of "value added" models for teacher evaluation and pinpoints three key factors that should be considered.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 08/23/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  daniel willingham, factors in teacher evaluation, how to evaluate teachers, no child left behind, teacher evaluation, teacher evaluation systems, teachers and value added, value added systems

Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 08/17/2010

Willingham: Big questions about the LA Times teachers project

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham explains why using value-added measures to judge the effectiveness of a teacher is a mistake, and says that the Los Angeles Times writers who helped evaluate more than 6,000 teachers in this fashion, "are either uniformed or disingenuous about the status of the value-added measures."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:23 AM ET, 08/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  daniel willingham, la times story, la times story on teachers, los angeles times and teachers, research and value added, teacher evaluation, value added evaluation, value added measures

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 07/29/2010

Study: Error rates high when student test scores used to evaluate teachers

I don’t understand all of a new statistical study about error rates when student test scores are used to evaluate teachers and schools, but I do get this: The rates are so high that they should give pause to even the most ardent admirers of such evaluation systems.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 07/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers, Teachers | Tags:  error rates and value-added, evaluating teachers, high-stakes decisions and teacher evaluation, mathematica study, teacher evaluation, value-added measures

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 07/28/2010

Were some D.C. teachers fired based on flawed calculations?

A professor of sociology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, argues that D.C. Public Schools botched the calculations that were used to decide to fire some of the 241 teachers let go last week.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 07/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  DC CAS, IMPACT evaluation system, d.c. public schools and teachers, d.c. schools, d.c. teachers fired, how rhee fired teachers, rhee and d.c. and fire and teachers, rhee fires teachers, value added and teachers, why rhee fired teachers

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 06/24/2010

A better way to evaluate students and schools

Here is a proposal for a robust and effective assessment and evaluation system for students and schools that would include three key components: limited large-scale standardized testing, extensive school-based evidence of learning, and a school quality review process.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:30 AM ET, 06/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  accountability in schools, accountablity, assessment, fairtest, how to assess statements, how to evaluate schools, monty neill, multiple measures and student assessment, student assessment through multiple measures, teacher evaluation system, the accountability movement

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 05/14/2010

Don't rush to link teacher evaluation to student achievement

The president of Teachers College at Columbia University writes about the problems with President Obama's proposal to link teacher evaluation to student performance.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 05/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  National Standards, National Standards, National Standards | Tags:  No Child Left Behind, Teachers College, guest bloggers, linking teacher evaluation to student performance, value-added measures

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 04/28/2010

How to measure student growth

By Lisa Guisbond. Growth models are pitched as a thoroughly modern, scientific way to .answer the age-old parental question: “What did you learn in school this year, my dear?” It seems reasonable enough: Test students at the beginning and the end of the year and measure the “growth” in test scores to see if student achievement is improving. Given the narrow and limited nature of the data used to measure this growth, however, there’s often less than meets the eye in the results. Fortunately, there are better, if little known or understood, ways of both measuring and stimulating real growth in learning.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 04/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers, Teachers, Teachers, Teachers, Teachers, Teachers | Tags:  Race to the Top, growth models, how to evaluate teachers, nclb, no child left behind, schools and growth models, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, teachers

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 01/25/2010

Willingham: 'A terrible idea'

By Daniel Willingham. Randi Weingarten’s recent speech at the National Press Club garnered a great deal of press attention, almost all of it on her openness to student achievement data being part of an evaluation scheme for teachers. This is a terrible idea.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:30 PM ET, 01/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, student performance, teacher evaluation