Saturday, January 7, 2012

How Much?

Bill in Kentucky legislature
would tie teacher evaluations
to student performance

House Ed Cmte Chair Rollins is Thinking 30%

Including student test score performance as one factor in a teacher's evaluation is going to happen. It ought to happen. The question is how much should it count? No social science measure is absolute. Given all of the known weaknesses in our present ability to accurately assess any given teachers' contribution (the value they add) to test scores is cause for extreme caution. The system is fraught with weaknesses that render the accounting unfair. For that reason, Rollins's number is too much by half.

Still, Rollins must be hearing from those number lovers who would have test scores count for half of a teacher's performance evaluation. That is 30's biggest virtue. It's not worse.

This from Jim Warren at the Herald-Leader:
Under legislation pending in the General Assembly, student achievement would become a standardized part of Kentucky public school teachers' performance evaluations for the first time.

House Bill 40, sponsored by House Education Committee Chairman Carl Rollins, D-Midway, would authorize the Kentucky Department of Education to implement the evaluation system starting with the 2013 school year. Rollins' committee is to take up the measure Tuesday.

The Kentucky Education Association generally has signed off on the proposed evaluation system. But closely tying teachers' evaluations to students' academic progress could be one of the most sensitive issues in the 2012 legislative session.

The idea already is generating heat in Tennessee and some other states that are implementing new teacher evaluation systems in answer to the U.S. Department of Education, which wants student achievement factored into evaluations as a way of improving instruction.

As now planned, Kentucky teachers would be assessed on criteria such as their communication skills, knowledge of subject matter, ethics, use of technology and how well their students are doing academically.

The Kentucky Department of Education is developing the evaluation system now. But the state Board of Education has not yet decided the extent to which student achievement would affect a teacher's overall score. That could be a sticking point...

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