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(the daily wilton)   Connecticut teachers will now be evaluated mainly on student performance, which makes you wonder what they were being evaluated on before. No, seriously. What were they evaluated on before?   (thedailywilton.com) divider line 241
    More: Interesting, Connecticut Education Association, Fairfield County, Norwalk, student performance, Hartford, education reform, school boards, teachers  
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3248 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jan 2012 at 9:54 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-01-30 05:00:39 PM
Whatever the teachers' union wanted, that's what.
 
2012-01-30 05:03:06 PM
Their performance as teachers as seen by the principal and/or assistant principal(s).
 
2012-01-30 05:06:24 PM

torch: Whatever the teachers' union wanted, that's what.


This.

Shostie: Their performance as teachers as seen by the principal and/or assistant principal(s).


And that.
 
2012-01-30 05:14:50 PM
Because student performance has absolutely no other factors that may affect it. None. It's all the teacher.
 
2012-01-30 05:16:41 PM
Poor performance is 100% attributable to the parents.
High test scores are 100% attributable to the teachers.

Does that help?
 
2012-01-30 05:31:18 PM
How well they covered the gay agenda.
 
2012-01-30 05:38:17 PM

Rev.K: Because student performance has absolutely no other factors that may affect it. None. It's all the teacher.


I actually had a teacher explain evaluations to me like this. Their attitude is: since they aren't raising the child, the performance of the child should not factor into their performance ratings. They are just there to deliver material and if it doesn't take, well, tough shiat.

At some point the country is going to have to sit down and figure out what should be the main priority of a public school. Is it to present information and hope for the best, or is it to make sure the student learns?
 
2012-01-30 05:47:02 PM
It's amazing how CT was able to get reform with the public employee unions and the teacher unions without painting them all as the worst people in the world, blaming them for all our problems, nor gutting their collective bargaining rights, and causing a huge pointless shiat storm.

It's almost as if that looking objectively and finding the best solution for the state, and not the best solutions for a political party, while acting like adults and not being slaves to ideology work.
 
2012-01-30 05:55:39 PM
I volunteer as a reading tutor at an elementary school in Baltimore where 62% of the students are reading below grade level. Many of them are struggling in all areas as a result. Their teachers and the administration are all devoted to these kids and fight tooth and nail to provide support to the kids and their families. A shocking number of them are homeless, BTW. The teachers are some of the best I've seen. They work insane hours and are incredibly talented. (You can't be a mediocre teacher and survive in a school like ours.)

These kids are thriving.

The teachers can barely afford the commute to work.

Test scores tell you how much and what kind of education parents got, that's really it.
 
2012-01-30 06:20:48 PM
Number of abortions performed
 
2012-01-30 06:24:34 PM

Rev.K: Because student performance has absolutely no other factors that may affect it. None. It's all the teacher.


The problem:

If a teacher pisses off administration enough, he/she will be given a sped class. (Yes, they call it that when no one who matters is listening) All of the most difficult children will be shoved into one class. The class performance will reflect this. A potentially good teacher will crash and burn because they didn't kiss enough administrative ass.

And the kids, even the typical ones, will have a shiatty year.
 
2012-01-30 06:26:46 PM

Aarontology: It's almost as if that looking objectively and finding the best solution for the state, and not the best solutions for a political party, while acting like adults and not being slaves to ideology work.


More liberal crazy talk.
 
2012-01-30 06:27:57 PM
As someone who was in the Stamford, CT school system from kindergarten to 10th grade, I'm gonna get a kick out of this thread.

In 2009, most kids complained about my 8th grade algebra teacher because nobody understood what she taught and most of us did badly on the math portion of the CMT (Connecticut's perfomance tests). On the other hand, everybody liked my 8th grade French teacher because her form of teaching actually stuck with us.

However, for some inexplicable reason, that was the French teacher's 3rd year there, and was fired last year.
The math teacher has been at that school for 20 and is still going.
 
2012-01-30 06:30:48 PM
here's a hint, though: if you tie pay to student performance on standardized tests, and the teachers administer the standardized tests, you have just given teachers every incentive to help the students cheat on the tests while teaching them actual important stuff for the rest of the year. if you tie teacher pay to student grades, hellooooo grade inflation. Then what you have is a small subset of self-motivated, interested students who learn, and the vast majority skating by on almost zero learning. It leads to a less-educated populace, except for the elites at the top who go on to get all the money. Then you trick all the dumb poor kids to go to college and take out loans to do it. They require remedial education to make up for their piss-poor secondary education, and many of them drop out without ever getting a degree. Then, the master stroke, you consolidate student loan debt into collateralized debt obligations and trade them on the market, but you can't foreclose on student loan debt, so there's no foreclosure crisis. Instead, you have a vast populace of half-educated highly-indebted people who work in a state of indentured servitude for the rest of their lives, funding the imaginary financial instruments of the hyper rich.

So yeah, let's go ahead and have this party.

/not a teacher
 
2012-01-30 06:32:03 PM

namegoeshere: Rev.K: Because student performance has absolutely no other factors that may affect it. None. It's all the teacher.

The problem:

If a teacher pisses off administration enough, he/she will be given a sped class. (Yes, they call it that when no one who matters is listening)


Uh, maybe they do where you are, but I live with a special education teacher and am the daughter of another and they would not stand for that shiat. Also, they specifically are trained in special education. They aren't doing the job because they pissed off the administration.

I do agree that administrations screw people over, but for the most part, the problems with principals and other administrators in public schools are not intentional malicious actions, but disorganization, laziness, and a lack of classroom experience.
 
2012-01-30 06:32:03 PM
Wait, real Student performance, or how well they fill in a bubble on a scantron sheet and regurgitate answers they won't remember in a week for the standardized tests that get the school federal funding?
 
2012-01-30 06:35:40 PM

mahuika: namegoeshere: Rev.K: Because student performance has absolutely no other factors that may affect it. None. It's all the teacher.

The problem:

If a teacher pisses off administration enough, he/she will be given a sped class. (Yes, they call it that when no one who matters is listening)

Uh, maybe they do where you are, but I live with a special education teacher and am the daughter of another and they would not stand for that shiat. Also, they specifically are trained in special education. They aren't doing the job because they pissed off the administration.

I do agree that administrations screw people over, but for the most part, the problems with principals and other administrators in public schools are not intentional malicious actions, but disorganization, laziness, and a lack of classroom experience.


at my high school, if a special ed teacher pissed off the administration, they would send him/her to teach in the emotionally disturbed or "life skills" (i.e., profoundly mentally retarded children) classrooms. nevermind those were highly specialized classrooms requiring lots of experience -- the school treated them as punitive measures. Joke's on them -- those teachers were some of the happiest I knew.
 
2012-01-30 06:35:48 PM

mahuika: Uh, maybe they do where you are, but I live with a special education teacher and am the daughter of another and they would not stand for that shiat. Also, they specifically are trained in special education. They aren't doing the job because they pissed off the administration.


I'm not talking about the kids with IEPs. (I have one of those, BTW) I'm talking about the difficult kids. The ones who don't qualify for special ed, but are the low performers.

The term "sped class" isn't referring to the special ed class.
 
2012-01-30 06:38:01 PM

namegoeshere: mahuika: Uh, maybe they do where you are, but I live with a special education teacher and am the daughter of another and they would not stand for that shiat. Also, they specifically are trained in special education. They aren't doing the job because they pissed off the administration.

I'm not talking about the kids with IEPs. (I have one of those, BTW) I'm talking about the difficult kids. The ones who don't qualify for special ed, but are the low performers.

The term "sped class" isn't referring to the special ed class.


You mean alternative education.
 
2012-01-30 06:45:41 PM
Most crappy students come from crappy families, not crappy teachers. But by all means, we've gotta blame someone other than the parents.
 
2012-01-30 06:50:51 PM

FirstNationalBastard: Wait, real Student performance, or how well they fill in a bubble on a scantron sheet and regurgitate answers they won't remember in a week for the standardized tests that get the school federal funding?


I don't know for sure, but I would put money on the latter.
 
2012-01-30 06:53:24 PM

Sleeping Monkey: Most crappy students come from crappy families, not crappy teachers. But by all means, we've gotta blame someone other than the parents.


That's a really unkind way of discussing the people who have gotten the short end of the stick for generations. I understand the point you are trying to make, but that frame is cruel and simplistic.
 
2012-01-30 06:57:07 PM

ginandbacon: Sleeping Monkey: Most crappy students come from crappy families, not crappy teachers. But by all means, we've gotta blame someone other than the parents.

That's a really unkind way of discussing the people who have gotten the short end of the stick for generations. I understand the point you are trying to make, but that frame is cruel and simplistic.


I think you just summed up the current American political and social dynamic. Cruel and simplistic.
 
2012-01-30 07:02:49 PM

ginandbacon: The teachers can barely afford the commute to work.


But Fox told me teachers were making straight bank? Man, I was going to go into teaching middle school, and go straight ballin.
 
2012-01-30 07:08:18 PM

ginandbacon: That's a really unkind way of discussing the people who have gotten the short end of the stick for generations. I understand the point you are trying to make, but that frame is cruel and simplistic.


Parenting has a way bigger impact on how well children do in school than how 'good' their teachers are. A lousy parent is a lousy parent. If you don't make sure your kids do their homework (or even go to school) and never once in 12 years go to a single farking parent-teacher conference, then you suck, and you are a lousy parent. There are plenty of kids who had crappy teachers who did just fine in grade school and beyond because of the influence of their families.

It sounds simplistic because it is simple: Take responsibility for your child's education.
 
2012-01-30 07:34:10 PM
This is a recipe for disaster. Never tie a teacher's pay to how well his/her student's do on tests. It encourages the teachers to cheat, have the students cheat, change test answers, etc. There has been story after story here on Fark about this happening.
 
2012-01-30 07:35:28 PM
I think the evaluation system sounds good. But you need more than just the evaluation. You need to be able to really reward good teachers. You can't just give them a pat on the head, and keep them in the same basic pay structure. Is Connecticut going to pay a high performing teacher with 5 years experience 60K and a low performer with the same experience 30K? That's what you need to do, and that's what I'm afraid a union is going to have a problem going along with.
 
2012-01-30 07:44:40 PM

rumpelstiltskin: I think the evaluation system sounds good. But you need more than just the evaluation. You need to be able to really reward good teachers. You can't just give them a pat on the head, and keep them in the same basic pay structure. Is Connecticut going to pay a high performing teacher with 5 years experience 60K and a low performer with the same experience 30K? That's what you need to do, and that's what I'm afraid a union is going to have a problem going along with.


part of the problem is that districts (or even states) with that kind of control will arbitrarily raise standards to unachievable levels so as to save money on teacher salary. that's part of why unions would have a problem with it. Any district with half a brain would raise standards any time there was a risk of a teacher going up a pay bracket. Everyone would sit in the lowest pay bracket, and there would effectively be no upper pay bracket. You can say this is cynical, but it's flat-out good business sense, and if you're going to use market-inspired solutions to fix the schools, don't be surprised when market-inspired corruption enters the mix.
 
2012-01-30 07:50:10 PM

Walker: This is a recipe for disaster. Never tie a teacher's pay to how well his/her student's do on tests. It encourages the teachers to cheat, have the students cheat, change test answers, etc. There has been story after story here on Fark about this happening.


Only 20-25% of the evaluation is based on standardized test scores. It looks like there is plenty of opportunity to control that sort of behaviour in the other 75%.
Besides, there are other ways of controlling that. You can have tests proctored by teachers other than the classroom teacher. You can bring proctors in from other schools. You can even have people from the local community do it. It's easy to fix your problem, and it's wrong to pretend to evaluate someone on a product without even bothering to measure the product.
 
2012-01-30 07:51:37 PM

Aarontology: It's almost as if that looking objectively and finding the best solution for the state, and not the best solutions for a political party, while acting like adults and not being slaves to ideology work.


working solutions? WE CAN'T HAVE THAT! certain partisans insist that government (and unions) doesn't work
 
2012-01-30 07:56:29 PM

CapnBlues:

part of the problem is that districts (or even states) with that kind of control will arbitrarily raise standards to unachievable levels so as to save money on teacher salary. that's part of why unions would have a problem with it. Any district with half a brain would raise standards any time there was a risk of a teacher going up a pay bracket. Everyone would sit in the lowest pay bracket, and there would effectively be no upper pay bracket. You can say this is cynical, but it's flat-out good business sense, and if you're going to use market-inspired solutions to fix the schools, don't be surprised when market-inspired corruption enters the mix.


You're assuming the average salary would rise. I'm assuming the average salary would stay about the same. That's the problem the union would have: you would have relatively well paid people, and you would have very poorly paid people. Just like in the real world. Corporations don't make standards so high that no one can acheive them. I don't understand why you think school districts would, unless you have an especially low opinion of school administrators.
 
2012-01-30 07:56:40 PM

rumpelstiltskin: Walker: This is a recipe for disaster. Never tie a teacher's pay to how well his/her student's do on tests. It encourages the teachers to cheat, have the students cheat, change test answers, etc. There has been story after story here on Fark about this happening.

Only 20-25% of the evaluation is based on standardized test scores. It looks like there is plenty of opportunity to control that sort of behaviour in the other 75%.
Besides, there are other ways of controlling that. You can have tests proctored by teachers other than the classroom teacher. You can bring proctors in from other schools. You can even have people from the local community do it. It's easy to fix your problem, and it's wrong to pretend to evaluate someone on a product without even bothering to measure the product.


Alright, let's go through your solutions here, just real quick:

Teachers from other classrooms -- This presumes that students stay in one classroom all day, for one thing. It hasn't worked that way since probably the 50's, if not earlier. It also presumes that teachers act in a profoundly selfish way, caring only about themselves. False as well -- teachers work as part of a team, each trying to help each other. There's no reason why they wouldn't do the same thing in helping each other to cheat on the tests.

Teachers from other schools -- Exactly the same thing. they're all in the same boat, and they're all going to look out for each other. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

People from the commuinty -- OOOOH boy this cracks me up. Bring in random members of the community, who have no certification to work with children and no kind of background checks or work history, and have them volunteer to hang out with kids for several hours, with no teachers present, so they can administer the tests. Even if they're just there to supervise the teacher, how do you know you don't have someone with a major axe to grind, or just the equivalent of a james o'keefe troll? No, this doesn't work at all.

If you want professional proctors, you have to train, pay, and supervise them, which creates an ENORMOUS amount of bureaucracy, which has to be paid for. You might as well pay that money to teachers directly and thus attract smarter and more talented people to the profession. Even that would be a more effective use of money than any of your ideas..

Sorry to jump your shiat about this, but these are all solutions that educators have considered for many years, and there flat-out is no good solution to make standardized testing any meaningful portion of the evaluation of teaching effectiveness.
 
2012-01-30 07:58:15 PM
1) "Performance" depends on how you choose to define student performance 2) how well they help create a work environment with their peers 3) committee and administrative work too.
 
2012-01-30 07:58:23 PM

rumpelstiltskin: CapnBlues:

part of the problem is that districts (or even states) with that kind of control will arbitrarily raise standards to unachievable levels so as to save money on teacher salary. that's part of why unions would have a problem with it. Any district with half a brain would raise standards any time there was a risk of a teacher going up a pay bracket. Everyone would sit in the lowest pay bracket, and there would effectively be no upper pay bracket. You can say this is cynical, but it's flat-out good business sense, and if you're going to use market-inspired solutions to fix the schools, don't be surprised when market-inspired corruption enters the mix.

You're assuming the average salary would rise. I'm assuming the average salary would stay about the same. That's the problem the union would have: you would have relatively well paid people, and you would have very poorly paid people. Just like in the real world. Corporations don't make standards so high that no one can acheive them. I don't understand why you think school districts would, unless you have an especially low opinion of school administrators.


You don't understand. The school district would raise the standards for even the "average" salary to the point that very few people would achieve them. It's what would happen, because it's the only thing that would make sense to do, financially speaking. Keep strangling money away from the schools, and they'll have to cut costs like this.
 
2012-01-30 08:06:15 PM

CapnBlues:

Alright, let's go through your solutions here, just real quick:

Teachers from other classrooms -- This presumes that students stay in one classroom all day, for one thing. It hasn't worked that way since probably the 50's, if not earlier. It also presumes that teachers act in a profoundly selfish way, caring only about themselves. False as well -- teachers work as part of a team, each trying to help each other. There's no reason why they wouldn't do the same thing in helping each other to cheat on the tests.

Teachers from other schools -- Exactly the same thing. they're all in the same boat, and they're all going to look out for each other. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

People from the commuinty -- OOOOH boy this cracks me up. Bring in random members of the community, who have no certification to work with children and no kind of background checks or work history, and have them volunteer to hang out with kids for several hours, with no teachers present, so they can administer the tests. Even if they're just there to supervise the teacher, how do you know you don't have someone with a major axe to grind, or just the equivalent of a james o'keefe t ...


Well, gee. I really had no idea teachers were that immoral. fark it. Let's just cut their salaries, then.
No, wait. I've got a better idea. None of your points is very convincing. I'm willing to try each and all of them.
 
2012-01-30 08:11:03 PM

CapnBlues:

You don't understand. The school district would raise the standards for even the "average" salary to the point that very few people would achieve them. It's what would happen, because it's the only thing that would make sense to do, financially speaking. Keep strangling money away from the schools, and they'll have to cut costs like this.


That's absurd. It is no more in the district's interest to do that than it is for a corporation to do that. And corporations don't do that. Why would you assume school districts would?
 
2012-01-30 08:11:08 PM

rumpelstiltskin: Well, gee. I really had no idea teachers were that immoral. fark it. Let's just cut their salaries, then.
No, wait. I've got a better idea. None of your points is very convincing. I'm willing to try each and all of them.


They're immoral. they just have a finely-honed bullshiat detector, and standardized tests set it off every time. Teachers know that the tests reflect very little (if any) of their curriculum, the skills they're attempting to teach, and the knowledge the students will need after graduation. If you start screwing over their salaries based exclusively on student performance on these tests, they will simply find a way around it. Also, how about consequences for the students? How's that sound? Because if they just get angry at their teachers, they can choose to fail the test horribly, screwing over their teachers and administrators alike. Does that sound like a desirable outcome to you?

Face it: standardized testing is a lousy way to measure student achievement. It's convenient and easily quantifiable, but it has very little correlation with learning, achievement, or teaching effectiveness.

But hey, let's bring in the pedos from the community to administer the tests. That sounds fantastic.
 
2012-01-30 08:12:19 PM

rumpelstiltskin: CapnBlues:

You don't understand. The school district would raise the standards for even the "average" salary to the point that very few people would achieve them. It's what would happen, because it's the only thing that would make sense to do, financially speaking. Keep strangling money away from the schools, and they'll have to cut costs like this.

That's absurd. It is no more in the district's interest to do that than it is for a corporation to do that. And corporations don't do that. Why would you assume school districts would?


Corporations pay as much as they need to. They pay what it takes to retain the workers they want. Schools do the exact same thing. Why would a corporation pay more than the absolute minimum to retain their desired workers? Why, I ask you? It wouldn't. Neither would a school.
 
2012-01-30 08:16:40 PM

CapnBlues: rumpelstiltskin: CapnBlues:

You don't understand. The school district would raise the standards for even the "average" salary to the point that very few people would achieve them. It's what would happen, because it's the only thing that would make sense to do, financially speaking. Keep strangling money away from the schools, and they'll have to cut costs like this.

That's absurd. It is no more in the district's interest to do that than it is for a corporation to do that. And corporations don't do that. Why would you assume school districts would?

Corporations pay as much as they need to. They pay what it takes to retain the workers they want. Schools do the exact same thing. Why would a corporation pay more than the absolute minimum to retain their desired workers? Why, I ask you? It wouldn't. Neither would a school.


furthermore, once you open the door to grades of pay that are independent of education/experience/certification, you guarantee that every employee will be at the bottom grade.
 
2012-01-30 08:19:37 PM

CapnBlues: rumpelstiltskin: CapnBlues:

You don't understand. The school district would raise the standards for even the "average" salary to the point that very few people would achieve them. It's what would happen, because it's the only thing that would make sense to do, financially speaking. Keep strangling money away from the schools, and they'll have to cut costs like this.

That's absurd. It is no more in the district's interest to do that than it is for a corporation to do that. And corporations don't do that. Why would you assume school districts would?

Corporations pay as much as they need to. They pay what it takes to retain the workers they want. Schools do the exact same thing. Why would a corporation pay more than the absolute minimum to retain their desired workers? Why, I ask you? It wouldn't. Neither would a school.


Corporations don't pay more than they have to, but they do pay what they need to in order to keep high performers. And that's exactly what schools would do.
 
2012-01-30 08:23:04 PM
It's all become about "teaching the test" sounds like a freaking depressing educational experience.
 
2012-01-30 08:24:26 PM

CapnBlues: rumpelstiltskin: Well, gee. I really had no idea teachers were that immoral. fark it. Let's just cut their salaries, then.
No, wait. I've got a better idea. None of your points is very convincing. I'm willing to try each and all of them.

They're immoral. they just have a finely-honed bullshiat detector, and standardized tests set it off every time. Teachers know that the tests reflect very little (if any) of their curriculum, the skills they're attempting to teach, and the knowledge the students will need after graduation. If you start screwing over their salaries based exclusively on student performance on these tests, they will simply find a way around it. Also, how about consequences for the students? How's that sound? Because if they just get angry at their teachers, they can choose to fail the test horribly, screwing over their teachers and administrators alike. Does that sound like a desirable outcome to you?

Face it: standardized testing is a lousy way to measure student achievement. It's convenient and easily quantifiable, but it has very little correlation with learning, achievement, or teaching effectiveness.

But hey, let's bring in the pedos from the community to administer the tests. That sounds fantastic.


And that's why you don't base a teacher's entire evaluation on it. You base the bulk of it on other things. But the product a teacher turns out is a student proficient in certain things. You measure those things, or you admit they don't even matter.
It isn't that hard to keep pedos from proctoring exams, and it's even easier to keep any proctor from being alone with any students. You can pretend it's hard all you want, but that's all you're doing: pretending.
 
2012-01-30 08:27:45 PM

rumpelstiltskin: CapnBlues: rumpelstiltskin: CapnBlues:

You don't understand. The school district would raise the standards for even the "average" salary to the point that very few people would achieve them. It's what would happen, because it's the only thing that would make sense to do, financially speaking. Keep strangling money away from the schools, and they'll have to cut costs like this.

That's absurd. It is no more in the district's interest to do that than it is for a corporation to do that. And corporations don't do that. Why would you assume school districts would?

Corporations pay as much as they need to. They pay what it takes to retain the workers they want. Schools do the exact same thing. Why would a corporation pay more than the absolute minimum to retain their desired workers? Why, I ask you? It wouldn't. Neither would a school.

Corporations don't pay more than they have to, but they do pay what they need to in order to keep high performers. And that's exactly what schools would do.


Let's say a school of middling performance were to implement your strategy of differing pay grades. For the sake of argument, let's say three salary grades. One is the current average -- the middle grade -- while the lower and upper grades are 20% different in each direction. The school district says that in order to maintain the current average, 80% of your students must achieve at national standards. This is a standard that very, very few schools can meet. So most of your teachers bump into the lower salary grade the next year. So they all get together and collude to cheat the test scores up to 80% levels. They spend a year at that level. The school strikes back by pushing standards up to 95%, plus they hire private contractors to proctor the tests. Great, the teachers are failing again, so they get paid less, but the proctors are costing as much as the difference in salary. See the problem? it's whack-a-mole, cause you're constantly trying to measure performance accurately without paying for the measurement, which is impossible.

Nevermind the fact that the performance measure you're using correlates very poorly with later life achievement and even with GPA. You know those folks who get really good grades in school but only score around 1000 on the SAT? Yeah, those kids' efforts and study are going to be reflected incompletely by the test, while the smart kids who don't care about school get terrible grades but are good test takers, so they look like they're doing great, while they're actually not learning anything in school.

I admire your creativity and idealism in trying to find a way to compensate good teachers, but if you want to reward good teachers, you have to find a way to operationalize "good" that actually reflects upon and correlates with later achievement, rather than a simple, easy, and cheap means of evaluating performance on school-like tasks (standardized tests).
 
2012-01-30 08:31:47 PM

rumpelstiltskin: CapnBlues: rumpelstiltskin: Well, gee. I really had no idea teachers were that immoral. fark it. Let's just cut their salaries, then.
No, wait. I've got a better idea. None of your points is very convincing. I'm willing to try each and all of them.

They're immoral. they just have a finely-honed bullshiat detector, and standardized tests set it off every time. Teachers know that the tests reflect very little (if any) of their curriculum, the skills they're attempting to teach, and the knowledge the students will need after graduation. If you start screwing over their salaries based exclusively on student performance on these tests, they will simply find a way around it. Also, how about consequences for the students? How's that sound? Because if they just get angry at their teachers, they can choose to fail the test horribly, screwing over their teachers and administrators alike. Does that sound like a desirable outcome to you?

Face it: standardized testing is a lousy way to measure student achievement. It's convenient and easily quantifiable, but it has very little correlation with learning, achievement, or teaching effectiveness.

But hey, let's bring in the pedos from the community to administer the tests. That sounds fantastic.

And that's why you don't base a teacher's entire evaluation on it. You base the bulk of it on other things. But the product a teacher turns out is a student proficient in certain things. You measure those things, or you admit they don't even matter.
It isn't that hard to keep pedos from proctoring exams, and it's even easier to keep any proctor from being alone with any students. You can pretend it's hard all you want, but that's all you're doing: pretending.


Okay, so you're talking about measuring skills and/or knowledge for college and life with a 2-hour test??? Do you honestly believe you can effectively sample 12 years of education with a 2-hour test? you can't honestly believe that. And fine, no pedos in the schools, we can just agree on that. Fine. That's not even the crux of my argument -- it was me trying to inject a little levity in the debate.

Also, I resent your false dichotomy posed in this statement:

But the product a teacher turns out is a student proficient in certain things. You measure those things, or you admit they don't even matter.

I resent it deeply.

What are the other factors you would incorporate into an overall teacher performance score? If we're just arguing over a small proportion of that evaluation, I'm interested in what other means you think one can use.

Also, another problem with any performance-based compensation scheme is that teachers in poor districts are going to get less pay, and you will only get bad teachers there, who will contribute to poorer outcomes, which will feed into even lower pay, which will lead to even worse teachers... and so on.
 
2012-01-30 08:48:22 PM

CapnBlues: ginandbacon: Sleeping Monkey: Most crappy students come from crappy families, not crappy teachers. But by all means, we've gotta blame someone other than the parents.

That's a really unkind way of discussing the people who have gotten the short end of the stick for generations. I understand the point you are trying to make, but that frame is cruel and simplistic.

I think you just summed up the current American political and social dynamic. Cruel and simplistic.


Sad, isn't it?
 
2012-01-30 08:54:56 PM

Rev.K: Because student performance has absolutely no other factors that may affect it. None. It's all the teacher.


This, this and some more this.

/comes from a family of teachers
 
2012-01-30 09:00:58 PM

rumpelstiltskin: CapnBlues: rumpelstiltskin: CapnBlues:

You don't understand. The school district would raise the standards for even the "average" salary to the point that very few people would achieve them. It's what would happen, because it's the only thing that would make sense to do, financially speaking. Keep strangling money away from the schools, and they'll have to cut costs like this.

That's absurd. It is no more in the district's interest to do that than it is for a corporation to do that. And corporations don't do that. Why would you assume school districts would?

Corporations pay as much as they need to. They pay what it takes to retain the workers they want. Schools do the exact same thing. Why would a corporation pay more than the absolute minimum to retain their desired workers? Why, I ask you? It wouldn't. Neither would a school.

Corporations don't pay more than they have to, but they do pay what they need to in order to keep high performers. And that's exactly what schools would do.


The difference is that corporations get more money by doing well and school funding is arbitrarily tied to what the local taxpayers feel is necessary and the taxpayer isn't going to overestimate. What works well in an environment of give and take isn't going to work in an environment of pure giving. We're trying to build the next generation of Americans in our classrooms and I don't want to end up with a shiatty product because we used cheaper parts.

Now, because I like business terms, why would any 'rational' prospective teacher apply for a job in a struggling district? They're going to be dealing with more problem students, they're going to have a worse environment to teach in and their pay is going to increase at a lower rate than their peers in a better district. The best schools are going to attract the best teachers. Schools like mine in Canton, CT. A small, wealthy town 20mi from Hartford. We don't need the best teachers here. We already have students interested in their education who are more than willing to learn from your average teacher.
 
2012-01-30 09:01:00 PM
My last performance evaluation was broken down like this:

Subject Area Knowledge (How well do I know what I'm supposed to teach and is that demonstrated in my lessons?)

Curriculum Development (Did I have my year/semester/quarter/monthly/weekly lessons planned; how accurate were my plans to what actually happened in the classroom; did the lessons demonstrate professional knowledge of how people learn, etc.)

Classroom Management (How many referrals did I write, how many discipline problems throughout the year, how many complaints from students or teachers about problems in the classroom, etc.)

Documentation of Failing Grades (For every student that failed my class, did I document contact (or attempts at contact) weekly throughout the semester; did I write referrals to the counselor for failing students; if I was unable to reach a parent did I refer the student to the administration for follow-up, etc.)

Student Assessment (How accurate was my measure of students - did their grades fall in line with their test scores or were they inflated or deflated; were the assessments challenging, directly related to the subject taught, and of enough variety to meet the needs of all students?)

Student Performance (What percentage of my students passed the standardized test related to my teaching subject(s); what percentage of students demonstrated growth from their last testing period; what percentage of my students earned As, Bs Cs, etc. for their class?)

School Culture (Do we contribute positively to the school culture and environment, etc.)

Goals and Objectives (We are required to set personal goals and objectives for the year and then inform administration if we met them. Mine were related to continuing education in technology and curriculum and instruction).

In our evals, student testing is taken into consideration, but it isn't a major part of our eval, mostly because test scores don't come out until the summer (we take the state exam in March, unless you are a junior or senior retaking a failed exam).

I once had a principal assigned to evaluate me that was terrible with data - never seemed to know who to ask or be able to get it all together before my eval, so he rubber stamped stuff based on assumptions. Was terrible because I never got any real or valuable feedback from him about how my students were performing outside of the classroom. He's gone now, though, so things are a little better.

//Charter school, no union. Sorry for the wall-o-text.
 
2012-01-30 09:14:02 PM
Can we factor in parent evaluations, too?

I also want to point out Connecticut has the best public schools in the country. We'll see what these new standards do to that ranking.
 
2012-01-30 09:56:32 PM
Seniority is the only true measure of effectiveness, isn't that right Unions?
 
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