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January 16, 2013

A Few Thoughts on MET

When we calibrate all of our other instruments based on their ability to predict value-added gains on reading and math assessments, we build our entire edifice of teacher quality on what strikes me as a narrow and potentially rickety foundation.

March 09, 2012

The Problem with One-Size-Fits-All Approaches to Teacher Quality

Today's debates over teacher evaluation mostly just leave me tired. On the one side, we've got "reformers" who've accurately identified real problems, suggested sensible principles (like we should work to identify teachers who are better and worse at their jobs)... and then rushed to champion crude...

February 17, 2012

Don't Like Value-Added? Cool. So Pick Your Poison

As regular readers know, much of my writing on value-added dings would-be reformers for getting waaaay ahead of themselves. They're busy trying to build whole systems around tools that are crude, limited, and relevant for only a portion of what teachers and schools do. That's why I find it troubl...

February 14, 2012

Doug Harris Crunches Critics in Value-Added Smackdown

The University of Wisconsin's Doug Harris has torched a couple of would-be critics for their inane, inept, and unfair review of his book Value-Added Measures in Education (Harvard Education Press 2011). For those who appreciate such things, his response is a classic dismemberment of the Education R...

October 20, 2011

Getting Moneyball Right

Saw Brad Pitt's new flick Moneyball the other week. Good, not great; thought the book was better. A lot of the interesting stuff gets lost in translation. I've noted the same thing when K-12 thinkers latch onto the "moneyball" analogy. K-12 enthusiasts point out that Billy Beane used sophisticated...

August 25, 2011

Appellate Court Gets It Wrong on NYC Teacher Data

Here's something you won't read too often in RHSU: "UFT president Michael Mulgrew is right." But he is. Just today, a New York state appellate court ruled that New York City must release reports that show value-added data on a teacher-by-teacher basis, with teachers' names attached. I agree with ...

May 18, 2011

HISD Races Forward on Teacher Eval, While Union Kvetches

Houston superintendent Terry Grier has been making some impressive, controversial moves--albeit mostly out of the spotlight. It's a peculiar truism that giant districts like Houston or Clark County, Nevada, attract far less notice than much smaller districts like Washington, DC, Boston, and Newark....

May 04, 2011

Value-Added: Two Things Are True

I got a number of notes regarding yesterday's post, mostly either dinging me for my concerns about value-added systems or asking how I can raise such concerns and still write, "Value-added does tell us something useful and I'm in favor of integrating it into evaluation and pay decisions, accordingly...

May 03, 2011

Value-Added Evaluation & Those Pesky Collateralized Debt Obligations

Last week, while I was away, Brookings released another of its occasional "consensus" documents; this one's titled, "Passing Muster: Evaluating Teacher Evaluation Systems." The effort was once again led by Brookings' savvy Russ Whitehurst. The aim, more or less, is to tell state and federal offici...

February 11, 2011

My Take on the L.A. Times Reanalysis

Last summer, the Los Angeles Times created a furor with its hotly debated decision to post the value-added scores for thousands of Los Angeles teachers and to identify individual teachers, by name, as more or less effective. This week, the situation roared back to life when University of Colorado pr...

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The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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