Posts from March 14th, 2012
March 14, 2012
- A new report says too many teacher eval systems overlook the training evaluators get. (Teacher Beat)
- A Pi Day lesson plan about the history of the number for social studies teachers. (Outside the Cave)
- A father describes the agony of a 10-minute conference with a slow-talking teacher. (Gay NYC Dad)
- Across the country, foundations are pushing reforms in budget-crunched states. (American Prospect)
- Rahm Emanuel’s leadership of Chicago’s schools channels an early Mayor Bloomberg. (Atlantic)
- Some schools fear that crowding means they can’t execute special education reforms. (Insideschools)
- The city is looking for a “special assistant” to help out with the turnaround initiative. (Simply Hired)
- Wendy Kopp challenges Diane Ravitch’s representation of the TFA founder’s views. (HuffPo)
- From the Kopp piece, a tidbit that just 3 percent of TFA alums work in the private sector. (Eduwonk)
- Occupy the DOE has picked its next protest location, at the New York Post on Thursday. (Ed Notes)
- More examples of the value teachers can add that wouldn’t count in a value-added score. (Mr. Foteah)
- The student who placed in a national science contest describes the “brutal” experience. (SchoolBook)
March 14, 2012
Funding for statewide erasure analysis and other test security measures was omitted from early drafts of the 2012-2013 budget, meaning a major initiative by the state education department could be shelved indefinitely.
Back in October, the Board of Regents signed off on a plan to request $2.1 million in the 2012-2013 budget for erasure analysis as part of changes to address concerns that state tests were not secure. State education officials lobbied the Governor’s office for the funding, but when Cuomo released his $132.5 billion preliminary budget in January, the line item was not included.
Funding for the initiatives was also left out of budget proposals submitted this week by the Assembly and Senate.
“The legislature said it’s obviously not a priority for them,” SED spokesman Dennis Tompkins said of the test security proposals.
Every spring, state agencies lobby Cuomo’s budget office for their legislative priorities. In addition to funding for test security, SED officials also wanted a budget amendment to reduce costs and shorten the length of time it takes to complete disciplinary hearings for tenured teachers, a wish that Cuomo granted.
The omission of test security proposals came at the same time as Cuomo used the budget process to push districts and teachers unions to accept an evaluation system that makes test scores a part of teacher ratings.
Some legislators said test security got short shrift during the budgetary process.
“As more and more importance is placed on state tests, there needs to be real reform: higher quality tests, better formats, and improved test integrity,” said Senator Daniel Squadron. “The only way to improve the quality of the tests and the integrity of the scoring is to invest more dollars to move beyond oversimplified multiple choice, and to professionalize assessment.” (more…)
March 14, 2012
The most credible critics of the city’s Teacher Data Reports are those with the highest scores.
That’s the outlook of a small band of 99th-percentilers who are signing on to a statement that argues that measuring teacher effectiveness according to students’ test scores “will, in the long run, result in less classroom creativity and more shallow, test-focused instruction.”
The statement was penned by Maribeth Whitehouse, an eight-year middle school teacher in the South Bronx. She reached out by email to other teachers who, like her, had pulled a top rating on the city’s value-added algorithm when Teacher Data Reports were released last month. So far, about a dozen teachers who scored 99s have added their names, and Whitehouse said she expects others to join them. They join a deafening chorus of critics of the TDRs who include 80 percent of New Yorkers, according to poll results released today.
In the Community section today, Whitehouse explains her decision to strike out against the metric that said she was “far above average.” She writes:
I came to teaching more than eight years ago by way of the law — having graduated from Fordham Law School in 1992. So I knew full well how intricate, malleable and unreliable evidence could be. When the New York City Teacher Data Reports came out and were touted as measuring my “value” as a teacher, I was deeply annoyed. Invalid, inaccurate and irrelevant, these data were no more useful in proving or disproving teacher value than the temperature on a single day could prove or disprove global warming. It’s not that I don’t think I’m a good teacher, I do. I simply measure it in ways that cannot be captured on a test. My reaction came as a surprise to some of my family, friends and co-workers because I was ranked in the 99th percentile.
March 14, 2012
I came to teaching more than eight years ago by way of the law — having graduated from Fordham Law School in 1992. So I knew full well how intricate, malleable and unreliable evidence could be. When the New York City Teacher Data Reports came out and were touted as measuring my “value” as a (more…)
March 14, 2012
New York City voters by and large do not trust the teacher ratings released late last month. But most wouldn’t mind if future assessments of teachers’ quality were also made public, according to a poll whose results were released this morning.
The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University last week, asked 964 New Yorkers about teacher evaluations both in theory and in practice. It found that just 20 percent of voters said they trusted the city’s “recently released teacher evaluations” known as Teacher Data Reports, and nearly half said the results were flawed. (The ratings, which had massive margins of error, were not actually used to evaluate teachers.) But 58 percent said they approved in theory of releasing the results of teacher evaluations to the public.
The poll’s findings suggest voters simply haven’t made up their minds about the role that teacher evaluations should play even as battles over new evaluations have dominated the headlines in recent months.
Just a third of poll respondents said they thought teachers who score low on evaluations should be fired, a use that advocates of new evaluations have championed. But 54 percent said they thought top-rated teachers should be rewarded with additional pay, something Mayor Bloomberg has suggested and the UFT has opposed. And 84 percent said they thought performance should trump seniority if the city needed to lay off teachers, a policy position that Bloomberg made his priority last spring, to no avail. (more…)
March 14, 2012
- Gov. Cuomo launched an ad asking New Yorkers to press districts on teacher evaluations. (Daily News)
- A poll found that views are mixed about releasing teacher ratings. (GothamSchools, Post, Daily News)
- A new report estimates a shortage of school seats compared to new housing in parts of Manhattan. (WSJ)
- Teachers at P.S. 100 in Coney Island are practicing using new teacher evaluations. (WNYC/SchoolBook)
- A woman who married her city teacher continued cashing his pension checks after he died. (Daily News)
- The Archdiocese of New York is embarking on a radical reorganization of city Catholic schools. (WSJ)
- A Stuyvesant High School student was the third-place finisher in a national science contest. (Post)
- A privately funded program helps middle-performing city students get prepared for college. (USA Today)
- Utica, one of few cities in the state not to have charter schools, could soon get some. (Observer-Dispatch)
- The first teacher named in Atlanta’s cheating scandal goes before a discipline tribunal today. (AJC)
- Los Angeles’s proposed budget would cut thousands of jobs in and around schools. (L.A. Times)