Evaluations gone wild

Now that teacher evaluations are the latest education reform fad, all manner of crazy ideas are being put forward, and in some cases, being implements.

Local Teachers' Merit Pay Hinges on How Well They Engage with Parents

At Wendell High School, teachers will receive merit bonuses based on the percentage of parents who show up for the conferences.
Wendell Superintendent Greg Lowe said his district decided to base teacher bonuses on parent participation in high school conferences because it’s been a problem in the past.
Up to 70 percent of the possible bonus school employees can receive is based on how many parents show up for conferences throughout the year.

In order to earn the maximum bonus, 40 percent of parents must attend. Lowe said the percentage of parents who attended the first conference of the year was “way above that.”aaf1db459719.html#ixzz1btdJ5e6K

That may be one extreme example, but it is hardly the only one. We're also going to be using very young children to evaluate teachers, simply because, well, we can

D.C. public school second-graders will take the DC CAS for the first time this spring, part of an effort to expand the pool of teachers eligible to be evaluated on the “value-added” they bring to student test scores. Until recently, only grades 3 through 8 and high school sophomores took the exams.

Extending the CAS to second grade means that third-grade reading and math teachers will enter IMPACT’s “Group 1,” where half of their evaluation will be determined by their students’ ability to exceed projected levels of annual growth. DCPS needs second-grade test data to assemble a predictive model for the third-graders.

Teachers will now have to test their second grade students so that third grade teachers can be evaluated using test scores! It's like some circular logic of insanity.

Lost in all of this is whether it actually improves the quality of education, let alone the cost in time, money and moral. We really are in a period of reform gone wild.