Monday, September 1, 2014

Math. Still Hard.

Okay, so it turns out that 94 percent of teachers outside NYC were rated "effective" or "highly effective" via the new APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review). Twenty percent of that assessment is to be based on growth on state assessments (or a comparable measure using Student Learning Objectives for those subjects not tested on state assessments). In many districts right in our area, no teachers at all were found to be ineffective. Yet, as we know, the growth on state assessments was negligible.

Which brings up a couple of questions. 1: What were the unions so worried about? and 2: Does the way we're measuring teacher effectiveness make any sense at all?

I have no doubt at all that effective teaching correlates to student achievement. This introduction to a 2005 book explains why teacher evaluation can nevertheless be so difficult to do with any validity. NYS is applying multiple modes to their teacher assessments, as the authors would recommend, but the results simply defy logic.

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