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February 10, 2011

Jay Mathews' Lazy Swipe at Michelle Rhee

Regular readers know that I'm no great fan of simple-minded value-added systems. As we've seen just this week with the L.A. Times value-added brouhaha (which I hope to address in the next couple days), it's easy for would-be reformers to overreach or oversell (see "Pyrrhic Victories?" for a more ex...

January 07, 2011

Beyond Value-Added Models...Getting the Mechanics of High-Stakes Teacher Effectiveness Policies Right

Note: Dan Goldhaber, an economist and professor at the University of Washington, is guest-posting this week. I've had a lot of opportunity lately to talk with both Race to the Top states and other states and localities that are working on incorporating student achievement measures into their teache...

August 17, 2010

LAT on Teacher Value-Added: A Disheartening Replay

On Sunday, the L.A. Times ran its controversial analysis of teacher value-added scores in L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD). The paper used seven years of reading and math scores to calculate performance for individual teachers who've taught grades three through five, and plans to publish the ef...

August 05, 2010

Two Cheers for Professor Pallas

This morning, Columbia University professor Aaron Pallas sounded a responsible (if hasty) retreat from last week's attack on DCPS. After writing last week that DCPS had seemingly used "preposterous" assumptions to adopt an "idiotic" teacher evaluation policy, Pallas wrote this morning in the Washin...

August 05, 2010

Value-Added: The Devil's in the Details

In response to the mail I've received since Monday's column critiquing Aaron Pallas's attack on the DCPS teacher firings, I think it's useful for me to weigh in on the live-wire question of value-added systems. Monday's column was not meant to be a simple-minded defense of value-added systems, but...

August 02, 2010

Professor Pallas's Inept, Irresponsible Attack on DCPS

Last week, Columbia University sociologist Aaron Pallas savaged the DC Public Schools IMPACT teacher evaluation system in the Washington Post's "The Answer Sheet" blog, attacking the teacher evaluation system as "idiotic" and based on "preposterous" assumptions. Pallas asked, "Did DCPS completely bo...

May 13, 2010

Mike Johnston, Superstar

Big news yesterday out of the West. While at the NewSchools Venture Fund Annual Summit, got word that Mike Johnston's path-breaking teacher quality bill (SB 10-191) had made it through the Colorado House on a 36-29 vote. This, as I've said previously in the midst of the fight over Florida SB 6, is...

May 03, 2010

Too Fast and Too Furious When It Comes to Teacher Evaluation

Much as I'd feared, preparations for round two of Race to the Top (RTT) seem to be impelling states to overshoot the mark when it comes to teacher evaluation and pay. Generally laudable proposals like Florida's Senate Bill 6 and Colorado's Senate Bill 10-191 suffer from the "fix the world in one pa...

April 21, 2010

The Value of Value-Added

I've been meaning to do a longer postmortem on Florida's Senate Bill 6. As I've noted before, I enthusiastically supported it even though I thought it a deeply flawed bill. The flaw? Its ham-fisted attempt to strip out one set of anachronistic strictures (governing tenure and step-and-lane pay sca...

April 13, 2010

Florida's Game-Changing Senate Bill 6

Florida Governor Charlie Crist, already desperately trying to claw his way back into the Senate GOP primary that he once dominated, has found himself in the middle of another maelstrom. Sitting on his desk, awaiting his signature or veto, is the most ambitious teacher quality legislation any state ...

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

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