Don’t miss Stephen Sawchuk’s Ed Week look at the coming debate on data about teacher effectiveness.   Important and one of those backroom things where reformers often get outmaneuvered or outmuscled.

2 Replies to “Data!”

  1. There is a huge difference between using imperfect models for performance pay as opposed to evaluations, tenure, licensing, etc. A margin of error that may be approprate for incentives (for either teachers or poor schools) could easily be inappropriate for putting a person’s career in jeopardy.

    That’s anothe reason why you should be much more careful with the word “reformer.” If you really want to help poor kids, out of respect for other educators who are just as sincere, you should stop the insults.

    Under no circumstances can the unions move forward unless you differientiate between the differing uses that you want for value-added models. If you want good-faith agreements, you must distinquish between using flawed or semi-flawed models for incentive plans or in conjunction with other methods, as opposed to using those plans for taking away the carreers of teachers. Unless we draw that distinction we will never be able to grow the teaching profession.

    And you should repudiate people like Rhee and in Florida where there isn’t even much of a pretence of making the models fair and reliable. It is tough enough to move an entire profession when people are negotiating in good faith. You should take a leadership role in cleaning up your own house.

  2. Any discussion about the “importance” of data relating to teaching and learning misses the boat: the most valuable aspects of teaching and learning can’t be simply quantified.
    As a teacher, I’m opposed to any more emphasis on data–it’s already out of control and hurting teacher morale all over the country.

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