People oppose using standardized tests to evaluate teachers

The new PDK/Gallup poll has lots of interesting findings. This one should cause pause among law makers

Table 6. Some states require that teacher evaluations include how well a teacher’s students perform on standardized tests. Do you favor or oppose this requirement?

2014 2013 2012
Favor 38% 41% 52%
Oppose 61% 58% 47%

Here's how the pollster interpreted this finding

— How teachers are evaluated is an important component to teacher quality, so it’s not surprising that Americans have opinions about teacher appraisal. A plan popular among some state and federal policy makers uses student standardized test results as a significant component in evaluating teachers, in some places comprising up to 50% of the evaluation. However, more than 60% of Americans do not support this approach, and their opposition is trending upward.

At the same time, Americans said they believe teacher evaluation should be primarily designed to help teachers improve their ability to teach. If we listen carefully to the opinions of Americans, we need to research better ways to evaluate teachers and principals that are not overly reliant upon how students perform on standardized tests.

The big question is, will law makers listen?