Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thoughts Without Words: Finally...someone gets it.

Unfortunately, he is a teacher. And of course I am talking about linking state test scores to how good a teacher is. Michael Haring does a good job of comparing doctors and cancer rates, what makes them good vs. bad. It got published in the Dallas Morning News, but I am pretty sure a majority of teachers in America can relate to everything that is being said here, whether you teach at a high performing school or low one.

I have said for awhile now that tying a teacher's effectiveness to a test would be like saying firefighters are bad if a fire grows beyond x amount of acres, police are bad if there are too many crimes, or like Michael mentioned, doctors are bad if they have patients that are over-weight or smoke.

Learn Me Good had a great quote talking about this;
Maybe I'm off on my math a little, but if we can assume that kids are in school for around 185 days out of the year and take 2 standardized tests, then 0.011% of each child's school year will account for 50% of a teacher's evaluation.
That pretty much sums it up for me. When I started teaching test scores weren't looked at too seriously. I remember my first meeting the dean talked about possible reasons for a test score to be off;
  • sick
  • drama at home or school
  • forgot the material from earlier in the year
  • more important things going on
  • blew it off
Now, all of those reasons aren't allowed. In fact, when we bring them up we usually get the "find a way to fix it" type answer.

Head over HERE to read the whole thing, definitely worth it.

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