We noticed a story in Politico a short while ago
NEW TACTIC ON TEACHER EVALUATIONS: Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, is launching a campaign against using value-added metrics to evaluate teacher effectiveness. Her mantra: "VAM is a sham." That’s a notable shift for the AFT and its affiliates, which have previously ratified contracts and endorsed evaluation systems that rely on VAM. Weingarten tells Morning Education that she has always been leery of value-added "but we rolled up our sleeves, acted in good faith and tried to make it work." Now, she says, she’s disillusioned.Having the President of the second largest teachers union come out against Value-add might not seem all that startling to most observers. Teachers after all have been leery of the whole idea from its inception.
But as study after study reveals who unreliable and inaccurate using student test scores to evaluate teachers is, the skepticism is growing wider and deeper.In Tennessee, the birth place of Value-add, policy makers are beginning to wise up to the problems too
Tennessee’s education leaders have been collecting national accolades since August, after the state board of education adopted a rare policy that ties teacher licensing to learning gains.
But not just in Tennessee, in Connecticut, the Governor is also asking for a pause in implementing teacher evaluations based on value add
At its meeting in Nashville on Friday, the board stepped away from the new policy, promising an April rewrite eliminating learning gains as the overriding factor in whether teachers can work in Tennessee.
the vote coincides with a bipartisan bill gaining ground in the legislature this session. The Educator Respect and Accountability Act, sponsored by Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, and Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, would prevent the state from yanking teachers’ licenses based on “any statistical estimate utilizing standardized test scores.”
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has just asked for a “pause” in implementation of a controversial new teacher evaluation system that uses student standardized test scores to assess teachers
In his letter to legislators, the Governor was quite clear, the reforms are not working
However, I would like to make the case that these reforms will not result in improved conditions since they are not grounded in research, the evidence that supports professional decision-making, like a doctor or engineer. It is simply a matter of substance. The evidence is clear in schools across the state. It is not working.Meanwhile, here in Ohio, legislators are also realizing that the teacher evaluation system is flawed. SB229 would modify OTES to rely somewhat less on student test scores, however that bill which passed unanimously in the Ohio Senate is now stalled on the House.
The National Alliance for Public Charters, like so many charter school boosters appears to care more about the quantity of charter schools than they do the quality.
We have spent the better part of the last 12 years with a test-based accountability movement that has not led to better results or better conditions for children. What it has led to is a general malaise among our profession, one that has accepted a narrowing of the curriculum, a teaching to the test mentality, and a poorly constructed redefinition of what a good education is. Today, a good education is narrowly defined as good test scores. What it has led to is a culture of compliance in our schools.
We have doubled-down on the failed practices of No Child Left Behind. Not only do we subscribe to a test and punish mentality for school districts, we have now drilled that mentality down to the individual teacher level.
This is clearly evident when looking at their state rankings for charter laws
Nicole Blalock, PhD a postdoctoral scholar at Arizona State University writes
In four of the states with a statistical difference between charter school students’ NAEP scores and public school students’ NAEP scores, statistical differences were observed for all grade/subject pairs tested. This occurred in the states of Alaska, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Until charter school boosters begin to care more about quality than they do quantity, we're going to continue to have horribly performing charter schools in Ohio that are not serving our students. We cannot continue to focus on quantity over quality.
The National Alliance for Public Charters state charter law ranking are absurd. Ohio should be ranked dead last, based on quality.
According to the Ohio Department of Education, the average teacher salary in 2013 was $56,715. For employees with advanced degrees, this doesn't crack the top ten industries when just looking at starting pay
On average, in Alaska, students attending charter schools outperformed students in public schools by approximately 10 points in most grade/subject area tests and by more than 20 points in reading in grade 4. However, the National Alliance for Public Charters that ranked the 42 states with charter schools and the District of Colombia as per their charter school laws, ranked Alaska nearly the lowest (i.e., 41st of 43) for the “best” charter laws (“Measuring up to the model”, 2013). Put differently, the state whose charter school students performed among the best as compared to their public school peers just happened to be one of the worst charter states as externally ranked.
Otherwise, public school students outperformed charter school students in the other three states (i.e., Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) with consistent and significant score differences across the board. Maryland was one of two states to be ranked lower than Alaska for the “best” charter laws overall (i.e., 42nd of 43), and Ohio and Pennsylvania ranked in the middle of the pack (27th and 19th of 43 respectively). Each of these states demonstrated charter school student performance that lagged behind public school students by an average of 23 points.
1. Computer science: Average starting pay: $73,700
Teenage babysitters could earn more. Literally.
2. Business administration/management: Average starting pay: $69,200
3. Mechanical engineering: Average starting pay: $66,800
4. Electrical/electronics and communications engineering: Average starting pay: $66,100
5. Finance: Average starting pay: $64,300
6. Nursing: Average starting pay: $63,800
7. Economics (business/managerial): Average starting pay: $63,400
8. Health and related sciences: Average starting pay: $62,900
9. Accounting: Average starting pay: $62,300
That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and planning -- that equals 6-1/2 hours).$56,715 turns out to be quite the deal.
A recently published study from the Journal of Labor Economics looked at performance incentives for teachers in the NYC school system. The results should cause corporate reformers to pause
So each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585 a day.
However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.
That's $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).
What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6-1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.
Wait a minute -- there's something wrong here!
Providing financial incentives for teachers to increase student performance is an increasingly popular education policy around the world. This paper describes a school-based randomized trial in over two-hundred New York City public schools designed to better understand the impact of teacher incentives on student achievement. I find no evidence that teacher incentives increase student performance, attendance, or graduation, nor do I find any evidence that the incentives change student or teacher behavior. If anything, teacher incentives may decrease student achievement, especially in larger schools. The paper concludes with a speculative discussion of theories that may explain these stark results.
As Margarita Pivovarova, Assistant Professor of Economics at Arizona State University notes
The estimates from the experiment imply that if a student attended a middle school with an incentive in place for three years, his/her math test scores would decline by 0.138 of a standard deviation and his/her reading score would drop by 0.09 of a standard deviation.
Via Larry Ferlazzo
Not only that, but the incentive program had no effect on teachers’ absenteeism, retention in school or district, nor did it affect the teachers’ perception of the learning environment in a school. Literally, the estimated 75 million dollars invested and spent brought zero return!
It’s not uncommon to hear someone inaccurately state that the teacher has the biggest influence on student achievement — period. Of course, the true statement is that — of the in-school factors — teachers have the biggest influence. On top of that, research has shown that over two-thirds of the factors that influence student achievement occur out of school.
To illustrate this, here's a pie chart
Lots of good links ot dem,onstrate the evidence behind this pie chart at the link.
If we're primarily focusing on teacher quality to increase student achievment, we're focusing on the wrong place. It's why corporate education reforms are doomed to failure.
Susanna Loeb, Professor of Education Stanford University and Faculty Director for the Center for Education Policy Analysis, has a brief published by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
The question for this brief is whether education leaders can use value-added measures as tools for improving schooling and, if so, how to do this. Districts, states, and schools can, at least in theory, generate gains in educational outcomes for students using value-added measures in three ways: creating information on effective programs, making better decisions about human resources, and establishing incentives for higher performance from teachers. This brief reviews the evidence on each of these mechanisms and describes the drawbacks and benefits of using value-added measures in these and other contexts.
The brief concludes
Value-added measures are not a good source of information for helping teachers improve because they provide little information on effective and actionable practices.
The use of value-added measures to evaluate individual teachers, especially when connected to high stakes personnel decisions is impossible to defend if one is guided by the research evidence, and the disastrous practical applications.
- School, district, and state leaders may be able to improve teaching by using value-added to shape decisions about programs, human resources, and incentives.
- Value-added measures of improvement are more precise measures for groups of teachers than they are for individual teachers, thus they may provide useful information on improvement associated with practices, programs or schools.
- Many incentive programs for staff performance that are based on student performance have not shown benefits. Research points to the difficulty of designing these programs well and maintaining them politically.
- Value-added measures for selecting and improving programs, for informing human resource decisions, and for incentives are likely to be more useful when they are combined with other measures.
- We still have only a limited understanding of how best to use value-added measures in combination with other measures as tools for improvement.
The full brief can be read below.
HOW CAN VALUE-ADDED MEASURES BE USED FOR TEACHER IMPROVEMENT?