It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.The firestorm continues unabated over the Los Angeles Times series that explores tying student growth to teacher efficiency. Today the series posted names of teachers and their scores, including the 100 highest- ranking teachers and schools. Take a look. Also worth a read: today’s New York Times story on the increasing use of value-added models and a measured (ha!) Stephen Sawchuk analysis in Edweek.
We began by noting that some advocates of using student test scores for teacher evaluation believe that doing so will make it easier to dismiss ineffective teachers. However, because of the broad agreement by technical experts that student test scores alone are not a sufficiently reliable or valid indicator of teacher effectiveness, any school district that bases a teacher’s dismissal on her students’ test scores is likely to face the prospect of drawn-out and expensive arbitration and/or litigation in which experts will be called to testify, making the district unlikely to prevail. The problem that advocates had hoped to solve will remain, and could perhaps be exacerbated. There is simply no shortcut to the identification and removal of ineffective teachers.We'll give the final word to the fine blog, The Quick and the Ed:
Value-added is the worst form of teacher evaluation but it’s better than everything else.