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April 20, 2012

The Pineapple Story Tests Us: Have Test Publishers become Unquestionable Authorities?

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody The New York Daily News has perhaps inadvertently shed some light on why teachers might be hesitant to have a large portion of their evaluations based on standardized test scores. In a rare moment of transparency, one of the 8th grade reading comprehension quest...

April 19, 2012

Jack Hassard: The Testing Games put our Youth at Risk

Guest post by Jack Hassard. Originally posted here. Note: This is the third in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing In the next month every American girl and boy in grades 3- 8 will participate in the testing games, an annual competition to d...

April 10, 2012

Educators Issue VAM Report for Secretary Duncan

Guest post by Educators for Shared Accountability. A new group, Educators for Shared Accountability (ESA), has issued the first-ever Value-Added Measurement (VAM) evaluation of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Secretary Duncan was rated "ineffective," based on four indicators. The United State...

April 06, 2012

Stephen Krashen: Testing and Teaching to the Test: It's going to get Worse

Guest post by Stephen Krashen Phillip K. Howard tells us that "To fix America's bureaucracy, we need to destroy it." The part most in need of destruction is not yet fully grown: The new national standards and their spawn, the new national tests. Howard points out that NCLB (No Child Left Behind) a...

March 21, 2012

Gates/Scholastic Teacher Survey Challenges Assumptions About Test-Based Reform

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody The big headline from the recent Gates/Scholastic survey of teachers is that only 28% of teachers see standardized tests as an essential or important gauge of student assessment, and only 26% say they are accurate as a reflection of student knowledge. Another qu...

March 18, 2012

A Million Teachers Prepare to March Out the Classroom Door

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody The Metlife survey of American teachers has been much discussed in recent weeks. The biggest red flag I see waving here is the 70% increase, over the past two years, in the number of teachers who are likely to leave the profession in the next five years (from 17...

March 13, 2012

John Thompson: New York Reformers Show Their True Colors

Guest post by John Thompson. If nothing else, the controversy over publicizing New York City teachers' value-added scores has revealed the essence of test-driven school "reform." The contemporary data-driven accountability experiment was begun by idealists, who sincerely sought a "civil rights move...

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...

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