Feb 9, 2012

ARTICLE: Value-Added

Tennessee Teacher Evaluations: Using Value-Added Analysis

"To close the achievement gap between poor and affluent students in Tennessee, some students may need to learn at double the rate of their high-performing peers, according to Tennessee Department of Education materials."

So, to this point, they haven't kept up at the same or slower rate, but the Tennessee teachers should pick it up anyway. Maybe they could teach twice as fast.

"In Tennessee, 45 percent of teachers teach in subjects with standardized tests, and for more than a decade, Tennessee has rated these teachers using their students' progress on the tests. School officials use complex statistics to predict how individual students will perform, based on their past scores."

I'm torn on value-added predictions. On one hand, I think it could show that teachers are making a difference--even in low-performing schools. At the same time, it could point to the teachers that need to pick up the pace. On the other hand, these complex statistics are just numbers. An arbitrary set of numbers. It's impossible for those numbers to represent everything that contributes to growth. If a student's parents divorced during the year, would the complex statistics take that into account?

"The 55 percent of teachers who don't teach in subjects with standardized tests will be rated based on the test-score ratings of other teachers in their schools."

Oh, yeah, no problem there. No anxiety. No resentment. No pressure. The perfect plan.

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