Opinion: Caution when using standardized tests to evaluate teachers
| Sep 01, 2010
In her blog, "The Answer Sheet,' Valerie Strauss writes about a new study on teacher evaluation methods:
"Student standardized test scores are not reliable indicators of how effective any teacher is in the classroom, not even with the addition of new 'value-added' methods, according to a study released this week. It calls on policymakers and educators to stop using test scores as a central factor in holding teachers accountable.
“ 'Value-added modeling' is indeed all the rage in teacher evaluation: The Obama administration supports it, and the Los Angeles Times used it to grade more than 6,000 California teachers in a controversial project. States are changing laws in order to make standardized tests an important part of teacher evaluation. Unfortunately, this rush is being done without evidence that it works well. The study, by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a nonpartisan nonprofit think tank based in Washington, concludes that heavy reliance on VAM methods should not dominate high-stakes decisions about teacher evaluation and pay." Read more of her post at The Washington Post online and the study by EPI.