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'Value-added' teacher evaluations: L.A. Unified tackles a tough formula (making states' rounds)
Los Angeles Times ^ | March 28, 2011 | Teresa Watanabe

Posted on 03/28/2011 2:30:24 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

In Houston, school district officials introduced a test score-based evaluation system to determine teacher bonuses, then — in the face of massive protests — jettisoned the formula after one year to devise a better one.

In New York, teachers union officials are fighting the public release of ratings for more than 12,000 teachers, arguing that the estimates can be drastically wrong.

Despite such controversies, Los Angeles school district leaders are poised to plunge ahead with their own confidential "value-added" ratings this spring, saying the approach is far more objective and accurate than any other evaluation tool available.

...All value-added methods aim to estimate a teacher's effectiveness in raising students' standardized test scores. But there is no universal agreement on which formula can most accurately isolate a teacher's influence from other factors that affect student learning — and different formulas produce different results.

...In essence, value-added analysis involves looking at each student's past test scores to predict future scores. The difference between the prediction and students' actual scores each year is the estimated "value" that the teacher added — or subtracted.

....William Sanders, value-added consultant for the Houston Independent School District, strongly opposes adjusting for race or socioeconomic status, however. He says that it is unnecessary and that adjustments would camouflage such institutional problems as the inequitable distribution of teaching talent. "I want administrators to deal with this and not sweep it under the rug," he said.

Deasy said that after long internal debate, L.A. Unified decided to control for race, ethnicity, mobility, English proficiency and special education status. He noted that they can affect achievement but "don't determine or predict it."

...Many teachers and union leaders say they are not necessarily opposed to value-added methods but want to understand them and have a say in how they're used....

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: education; teachersunions
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It is not about improved education. It's all about union jobs.

It's about "Exemplary" blazed over the front door of your school vs
"Recognized"
"Academically Acceptable"
"Academically Unacceptable" or
"Not Rated:Other"

FIGURES DON'T LIE BUT LIARS CAN FIGURE.

Printing "My Child is an Honor Student" bumper stickers is as effective in hiding declining education standards, as printing money is in hiding a failing economy.

1 posted on 03/28/2011 2:30:27 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I have a nephew who did very poorly in school, both parochial and public, but who did very well when home schooled.

Frankly, any teacher evaluated by his scholastic test scores would have looked awful, and it wouldn’t have been their faults.

My nephew was a stinker as a student!

So in this case I have to side with the teachers.


2 posted on 03/28/2011 2:50:07 AM PDT by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“FIGURES DON’T LIE BUT LIARS CAN FIGURE.”

From the state of Texas the standards for a school being rated as academically acceptable are:

Meets each standard:
• Reading/ELA .... 70%
• Writing............... 70%
• Social Studies... 70%
• Mathematics ..... 60%
• Science ............. 55%

55% of the students taking the science test needed to pass the test. A score of 51% was PASSING for an eleventh grader in 2010!

60% of the students needed to pass the math test. A score of 52% was PASSING for an eleventh grader in 2010!

These are multiple choice tests with only 4 possible answer choices. Students have a 25% chance of answering a problem correctly if they merely guess.

School and teacher ratings do not indicate that anybody is doing particularly well. They indicate that “most” students are making minimal standards.


3 posted on 03/28/2011 3:02:57 AM PDT by paint_your_wagon
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To: SatinDoll

“So in this case I have to side with the teachers.”

You have a very good point. But instead of siding with the teachers, I think your personal observation is more of a condemnation of our one size fits none school system.


4 posted on 03/28/2011 3:09:10 AM PDT by paint_your_wagon
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To: paint_your_wagon

Ping


5 posted on 03/28/2011 3:10:07 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: SatinDoll

The better observation may have been the best teacher was not at the school, or was discipline more at play here than his ability to be a student?


6 posted on 03/28/2011 3:10:22 AM PDT by mazda77 (Mike Hogan - JAX Mayor)
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To: SatinDoll
I have a nephew who did very poorly in school, both parochial and public, but who did very well when home schooled....

Tutoring is a fast growing business. It's amazing how well kids learn when they're taught.

7 posted on 03/28/2011 3:17:16 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: paint_your_wagon

}I think your personal observation is more of a condemnation of our one size fits none school system.”

Yes, I agree with partly with your observation.

I did very well in both parochial and public schools.

My nephew, on the other hand, was born a methadone baby. He was and still is very emotionally high strung.


8 posted on 03/28/2011 3:21:24 AM PDT by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT!)
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To: mazda77

“...may have been the best teacher was not at the school...”

Usually parents are not able to decide who the teachers are for their children. Sometime, if they push the issue, they can have their child removed from a bad teacher.

Parents also have almost no control over the composition other students in the class. Is their a gang member, drug dealer, or whatever in the room? Maybe your child is getting educated in more than just academics.


9 posted on 03/28/2011 3:22:13 AM PDT by paint_your_wagon
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

If every single evaluation of teachers should be kept secret because they ‘could be wrong,’ why do we even test students, when the teachers evaluating ‘could be wrong’?

The hypocrisy of teachers slays me—they want everything, don’t want any responsiblity for doing a good job.

I wonder how these teachers would feel if they brought their car to a mechanic who refused to tell them if he or his employees had the skills to repair their car.

I wonder how these teachers would feel if they bought food at a store that refused to label perishables with expiration dates, since they can be wrong.

I don’t let parents off the hook for not teaching their kids good study habits and manners and allowing them to watch endless TV instead of reading a book (many of the parents I have to deal with in my work are complaining about how smart their kids are while they obviously have never read a book since they dropped out of high school). But this is the nation they’ve helped bring us—the “it’s always someone else’s fault, and don’t you DARE criticize me, I’m a PUBLIC SERVANT and you should be grateful, I could be making millions in the private sector” spirit has crushed the can-do spirit as our unofficial American creed.

Thank God I’m old and won’t see too much of the decline and fall.


10 posted on 03/28/2011 3:22:33 AM PDT by Darkwolf377 (We don't need no stinkin' consistency!)
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To: mazda77

I suspect our students aren’t as well-behaved as they should be, and that is a major cause of poor performance as reflected in test scores.


11 posted on 03/28/2011 3:23:52 AM PDT by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT!)
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To: paint_your_wagon
Yes! Those "wonderful" multiple choice tests.

And when you start "formulating" scoring, it never ends.

So, it's no wonder that in Dayton, OH the feds have begun demanding ["The D.O.J. approved new scoring policy only requires potential police officers to get a 58% and a 63%. That's the equivalent of an 'F' and a 'D'."] because not enough minorities passed the entrance exam.

12 posted on 03/28/2011 3:25:10 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Darkwolf377

Bad teaching, coupled with institutionalized poverty, makes for poor learning and generational decline - the Democratic Party formula to grow dependable voters and employ union contributors.


13 posted on 03/28/2011 3:31:31 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“And when you start “formulating” scoring, it never ends”

In Texas the passing standards are not told to the parents or the public. That information is on the TEA website, but you have to search to find it.

Instead, parents are given a “Scale Score”. 2100 is a passing score. They are never told that 2100 is just over 50% in some cases.

When a student fails the test, the score might be something like 2077. Then the teachers and administrators will tell the parents something like, “look, Johnny almost made a 2100. With a little more work we’ll get him to pass.”


14 posted on 03/28/2011 3:36:12 AM PDT by paint_your_wagon
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The most interesting and under reported feature of the Dayton DOJ story is the local NAACP is also against what the DOJ is doing.

There are rays of light breaking through the darkness.


15 posted on 03/28/2011 3:53:30 AM PDT by mazda77 (Mike Hogan - JAX Mayor)
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To: paint_your_wagon

then your points just amplify the root of the problem, discipline. The solution is far more difficult considering the current state of tort which is known and used like a sledge hammer by those “problems”.

We also have to back up the good teacher’s ability to control their classrooms with real and meaningful “loser pays” system of tort laws. Then, many, many other issues we face today will mysteriously evaporate as well.


16 posted on 03/28/2011 3:59:01 AM PDT by mazda77 (Mike Hogan - JAX Mayor)
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To: mazda77

“The solution is far more difficult...”

Oh, I don’t know.

I think that the discipline problems that many schools have is more of a symptom.

The first step will be for the educational beauracracy to admit that it has a problem and is powerless to fix itself. In that regard I’d say the solution is not difficult but rather impossible.

If a school comes down too hard on disruptive students and ultimately shows them the door, then (a) the district loses money because their income depends on attendance; and (b) their dropout rate increases, which reduces their academic performance rating...which can reduce money to the district.

School is not about education. It is a numbers game used to increase federal and state dollars into the district.


17 posted on 03/28/2011 4:34:02 AM PDT by paint_your_wagon
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To: mazda77
The most interesting and under reported feature of the Dayton DOJ story is the local NAACP is also against what the DOJ is doing.

I read that and was VERY encourage.

18 posted on 03/28/2011 4:37:11 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: paint_your_wagon
....I think that the discipline problems that many schools have is more of a symptom....

"Administrators have said to me privately that they would rather be academically failing than be a dangerous school."

19 posted on 03/28/2011 4:45:14 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Tutoring is a fast growing business. It's amazing how well kids learn when they're taught.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I have a few questions about the “scores” seen on standardized tests:

1) Do government schools actually teach anything at all?

2) How much is a result of what is acquired **outside** of the school?

3) How much of what the child scores on the test is due to the institutional teacher?

I have **never** seen a news report about government school testing scores that separates out what is learned in the classroom from what is learned at home or in tutoring.

( Yes, I know I am using the word “never”.)

Honestly...If we don't separate out what is learned in the home from **afterschooling** from that which is acquired in the classroom we can't know if the government even teaches anything! We may be spending thousands of dollars per year per child on a totally ineffective prison-like schools!

Personally, I have **never** met an academically successful child who wasn't either **afterschooled** or homeschooled. Both sets of parents ( homeschooled or afterschooled) share the same values about education. Both groups have similar home habits and routines...and...Both sets of children are spending the **SAME** amount of time at the kitchen table or the child's desk.

(Again...Yes, I know I am using the word “never”.)

So?...If the time spent studying in the home is same for both homeschoolers and afterschoolers, are the government schools responsible for any of the success? How can we conclude that they are? Where are the studies that show government schools actually teach anything?

20 posted on 03/28/2011 4:51:02 AM PDT by wintertime
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