Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

How Does Governor Cuomo Defend His Irrational Teacher Evaluation System

This story is behind a paywall at Capital NY but here's the summary from their morning email update:

GOOD TEACHERS, POOR SCHOOLS? DISTRICT STRUGGLES TO UNDERSTAND RATINGS—POLITICO New York’s Keshia Clukey: “The same day that Bethlehem schools Superintendent Jody Monroe received a certificate from the state Education Department saying six of her schools were Reward Schools, among the top performing in the state, she also received word that her teachers were some of the poorest performing. ‘It’s hard to explain to a teacher how they could have a score of 17 (out of 20) last year and then a two,’ Monroe said. ‘It’s especially tough when you really can’t explain it … our curriculum hasn’t changed that much.’ The Albany County district, along with other public schools across the state, received its growth scores from the state at the end August, ratings that determine how good teachers are at their job. As in many districts over the past few years, fluctuations in the scores of Bethlehem’s teachers were hard to explain.

“According to the American Statistical Association, the variation from year to year has to do with the model, which the association's president says shouldn’t be used to evaluate teachers.’It suggests something is wrong with the approach, frankly, and possibly the data itself,’ David Morganstein said about the swings in teacher scores...The model doesn’t work, Morganstein said, because the state tests were designed to evaluate students, not teachers. The model often uses incomplete data. For example, it does not include all students’ scores, and the computers themselves can have errors, he said. The formula would work for testing a large group, such as a district or even school, but the margin of error is too large and can lead to wide discrepancies, with teachers scoring low one year, high the next, and then low again, Morganstein said.

“On average, Bethlehem’s elementary school teachers scored about an eight out of 20 in the 2014-15 academic year, ranking them as ‘developing,’ and its middle school teachers were slightly higher at about 12, or ‘efficient,’ Monroe said...In Guilderland, a neighboring school district similar to Bethlehem, teachers scored pretty well, with the majority in the ‘effective’ or higher range, said district Superintendent Marie Wiles, adding that with similar teachers, it doesn’t make sense that Bethlehem’s didn’t do as well. ‘There are just so many issues with (the annual professional performance review) and the calculation of growth score. We don’t put a lot of meaning in them. I hate to say it,’ Wiles said... ‘We don't need APPR .. .The numbers, to us, are not a measure of the quality of the teachers.”

The symbol of the irrationality of Cuomo's APPR teacher evaluation system is Sheri Lederman, who took the state to court over her test score VAM.

Lederman has gone from 14 out of 20 to 1 out of 20 to 11 out of 20 in the last three years even as students are scoring similarly on their tests.

More and more evidence is coming to light just what a mess Cuomo's APPR is.

And yet, that's the one thing that won't be "reviewed" as part of Cuomo's Common Core Standards/Tests/Curriculum review.

Cuomo has said his APPR teacher evaluation is the "bedrock" of the state's education reform agenda.

Given what a mess the "bedrock" is, it doesn't say much about the reform agenda, does it?

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