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March 10, 2012

Teacher Evaluation: Should we Look at Evidence of Learning?

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody In the mistaken belief that test scores are adequate reflections of learning, we have created vast systems to extract test score data, and now are requiring that this data be incorporated in teacher and principal evaluations across the country. Can we return to...

March 09, 2012

VAM gets Slammed: Teacher Evaluation Not A Game of Chance

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody Teachers in New York City have been slammed by the publication of VAM ratings for 18,000 of them. But something new is happening this time, and it was not what proponents of the use of these ratings for evaluative purposes intended or wanted. People are actually...

March 02, 2012

Bill Schechter: I Was a Teacher, Not a Number

Guest post by Bill Schechter. Clearly, I was a superb teacher. Probably one of the best. That's what the numbers show, and numbers don't lie. Before I retired after 35-years as a high school teacher, almost none of my school's students failed the state standardized tests mandated by the 1993 Educ...

February 29, 2012

Teachers Face Good Cops or Bad Cops in Push for Evaluations

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody Last week I wrote about the fairy dust of multiple measures that the Department of Education has been sprinkling on worthless Value Added Models, under the mistaken belief that this somehow renders them golden. Dept of Ed press secretary Justin Hamilton quoted ...

February 28, 2012

Arthur Camins: Why are Education Innovations Always Slip Slidin' Away?

Guest post by Arthur Camins. Slip slidin' away Slip slidin' away You know the nearer your destination The more you're slip slidin' away Paul Simon The current narrative for improving education in the United States is based on two undeniable charges and several simple and compelling solutions...

February 23, 2012

At the Department of Education, Warm Snow Falls Up

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody As the Simpson family prepared to travel south of the equator to Brazil, Homer revealed some misconceptions. In opposite land, according to Bart's father, "warm snow falls up." Reading the latest press releases and speeches from the Department of Education, som...

February 22, 2012

A Perfect Storm Hits Public Schools

Guest post by Steven Sellers Lapham. Note: Steven Sellers Lapham and Jack Hassard worked together on this post. Public schools in America are under attack from many directions, and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) seems bent on delivering a lethal one-two-three punch. This decade will likely...

February 19, 2012

Jack Hassard: Test-Based Reform: What Values are we Adding?

Guest post by Jack Hassard. You can read Part One here. Practicing teachers, clinical professors, and researchers who work in the field know that assessing teachers or students requires much more than simply looking at test scores. And indeed, researchers who have examined the value-added assessm...

February 16, 2012

Sorry Mr. Press Secretary, Multiple Measures Are Not Fairy Dust

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody This week I engaged in another online debate with one of Arne Duncan's press secretaries, Justin Hamilton, who readers may recall asked me to "correct" my commentary a year ago after President Obama inadvertently criticized our over-reliance on standardized test...

February 01, 2012

John Kuhn: America, Stop Making Excuses for Inequality

Guest post by John Kuhn. Part Two of two. I ended the last posting with a list of possible causes of the superior academic results seen in Highland Park ISD as compared to Everman ISD. In this posting, I want to talk at length about causality, because it is at the core. The battle line over cau...

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