Can We Evaluate Teachers By Student Test Scores?

5 Jan



Today, I was inundated with links to share and I prioritized.  I think the most interesting to me is the mathematics community coming out against Value Added.   Soon all Illinois teachers will be partially evaluated on their students’ test scores, but does it work?  One of the links is quite scholarly, but if you’re statistics challenged like me, the second link is to a much easier to read Washington Post Story.

I’m a big fan of Chris Ware’s work, but I had no idea his wife was a CPS teacher.  I wonder how many other celebrities have relatives working in the CPS trenches.

I’m getting more hits and visits than I ever expected I would in less than a week online, but it’s the comments that keep me coming back.  I like to know people are reading this whether they agree or not.  I am so ready for the weekend.  Attendance was about the same at our school today as it was yesterday, but it was a completely different set of students.  As you can see, CPS attendance was unsurprisingly poor for these makeup days.

Poor Student Attendance on Makeup Days

“Even at the academic elites like Whitney Young High School, the number of absent students was three times higher than normal.

One elementary school on the South Side had only 25% of the 850 students show up.”


Chris Ware’s Newtown (and CPS) inspired Cover

“My wife is a public-high-school teacher in Chicago, and though there has never been a shooting in her school during her tenure, there have been fights and thefts. Shootings have occurred outside and near her school, and one student died last year. A metal detector cowls the single student entrance. Such a safeguard, including two real guards—Chicago police, with guns—have been put in place (as at most Chicago public schools) because of gang unrest from within, not Playstation-style nightmares from without.”


New Study Explains Why Girls Do Better at School

 “Researchers from University of Georgia and Columbia University say the variation in school grades between boys and girls may be because girls have better attitude toward learning than boys.”

“This paper reviews relevant literature and reports results of a data-based
comparison of six basic SGM models that may permit aggregating across teachers or schools to provide evaluative information. Our investigation raises some issues that may compromise current efforts to implement VAM in teacher and school evaluations and makes suggestions for both practice and research based on the results.”
“When we accept value-added as an “imperfect” substitute for all these things because it is conveniently at hand, we are not raising our expectations of teachers, we are lowering them. And if we drive away the best teachers by using a flawed process, are we really putting our students first?”
This is not the first time the Noble Network has received criticism for the fees. In February, parents protested the Noble Network for charging fees as disciplinary action. According to the Chicago Tribune, Noble raked in approximately $200,000 in disciplinary fees  in 2011 and almost $400,000 since the 2008-09 school year.

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