Adding to value-added
For all its appeal, value-added measurement (VAM) of teacher quality cannot become our sole teacher-evaluation tool, not least because VAM-based evaluations are only possible today for about 30 percent of the teaching force (basically reading and math teachers of third through eighth graders). So what to do about the rest? As detailed by ace Ed Week reporter Stephen Sawchuck, content-area experts, administrators, and even some teacher unions have begun to structure robust alternative measures of assessment, using classroom observations, portfolios, and teacher-created assessment frameworks. Rhode Island will be among the first states to adopt student learning objectives as part of its teacher-evaluation system; districts in New York have worked with their AFT-affiliated union members to shape teacher-evaluation frameworks. And there is talk in other states of using data like AP assessments to gauge student progress, and thus teacher effectiveness. This wonky work is exactly what’s needed if we want to transform teacher evaluation from a pro forma activity to something of a science. Still, it remains to be seen whether these new assessment mechanisms will provide valuable information, or simply produce another “widget effect.”
“Wanted: Ways to Assess the Majority of Teachers,” by Stephen Sawchuck, Education Week, January 31, 2011.
blog comments powered by Disqus