On Friday in the Washington Post, a first-year, second-career teacher gives four suggestions for making test-based accountability fairer for teachers.
Michele Kerr suggests (1) teachers should be able to remove disruptive students more easily from the classroom; (2) teachers should only be assessed on the results of those students with 90 percent or higher attendance; (3) students who don't achieve "basic" proficiency in a subject should be prohibited from advancing to the next grade level; and (4) teachers should be assessed on student improvement, not an absolute standard.
Would you agree to tying your performance reviews to student test scores if these four elements were in place?
Update, 6/21: Two related links for you to check out...
Teacher blogger Anthony Cody deconstructs each of Kerr's four suggestions in his latest entry. As you can see from Cody's comments below, he believes Kerr presents "entirely reasonable adjustments," but believes the ultimate problem lies with testing being an "inadequate marker of that which we are responsible for teaching." Well worth the read.
Also, Monty Neill, the interim executive director of FairTest, wrote a commentary for Education Week last Friday in which he devised a comprehensive assessment system based on ideas already successfully employed in other countries.