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July 04, 2012

Are Schools 'Stealing Dreams'?

Friday was my last day with Seattle Public Schools, so I hope to devote much more time to this blog from this point on. The topic of performance in the education profession is more important than ever, and I'm eager to re-engage with you; feel free to email me at [email protected] Over the p...

March 29, 2012

Putting a Value on Instructional Time

If teaching is to be treated as a true profession, as I believe it should, how much value should we place on teachers' time? I was observing a math lesson a few weeks ago and started to wonder: How much does a lesson cost? How much is it costing for these students to be at school and participate in...

November 20, 2011

Recommendations for Developing Teacher Evaluation Systems

Guest post from Rod McCloy & Andrea Sinclair In this blog entry, we provide some of our recommendations for developing teacher evaluation systems. These recommendations rest on the performance theory (Campbell, McCloy, Oppler, & Sager, 1993) presented in our previous two posts ("Performance or Effe...

November 04, 2011

Ramifications of the Performance/Effectiveness Distinction for Teacher Evaluation

Guest post from Rod McCloy & Andrea Sinclair In our initial blog entry, we argued that it is essential to differentiate performance (behaviors people engage in on the job; i.e., what people do) from effectiveness (the results of performance) when conducting teacher evaluation. In this entry, we d...

October 28, 2011

Performance or Effectiveness? A Critical Distinction for Teacher Evaluation

Guest post from Rod McCloy & Andrea Sinclair Teacher evaluation has become a major focus of reform at the highest levels of education policymaking. The Obama administration awarded states more points for plans to improve teacher evaluation in their Race to the Top applications than for nearly any o...

September 16, 2011

Are We Expecting Too Much of Teacher Evaluation Systems?

I pay a lot of attention to teacher evaluation in this country, and it seems that the issue grows in urgency every day. Yet I have to stop and ask: How much can we expect teacher evaluation to accomplish? There's no one I respect more as an authority on the teaching profession than Linda Darling-H...

September 12, 2011

Coherence, Innovation, and Local Control

It will be very difficult to raise the status of the education profession if our goal isn't to have an education system that's on par with the best in the world. At present, our school districts merely have to compete with each other for talent, so the profession isn't very competitive compared with...

September 04, 2011

The Many Ways Jay Mathews Is Wrong About Local Control

In a Sunday WaPo op-ed, Jay Mathews suggests that the Common Core State Standards Initiative is doomed to failure, and isn't a good idea anyway: Such specific standards stifle creativity and conflict with a two-century American preference for local decision-making about schools. The decentralized n...

August 15, 2011

Professional Judgment: Beyond Data Worship

We've been "data driven" for at least a decade in education, with many a fortune made on assessment training for educators. I have no problem with using data to inform instruction, but I am starting to think we've gone too far in demanding that instruction be driven by data. Collecting data is not ...

July 25, 2011

Zombie Postmortem: Why Merit Pay Died in NYC, and Why It'll Rise Again (and Again, and Again...)

Last week, NYC announced the end of its merit pay program after 3 years and $56 million. It's good timing—the Atlanta cheating scandal has cast a pall over any attempt to tie compensation to test scores. The Times reports: The decision was made in light of a study that found the bonuses had no...

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