Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, March 30, 2013

NY Times Runs Front Page Story That Says Evaluation Systems Need To Fail More Teachers

Because it's only a "highly effective" evaluation system when lots of teachers are declared "ineffective":

Across the country, education reformers and their allies in both parties have revamped the way teachers are graded, abandoning methods under which nearly everyone was deemed satisfactory, even when students were falling behind. 

More than half the states now require new teacher evaluation systems and, thanks to a deal announced last week in Albany, New York City will soon have one, too. 

The changes, already under way in some cities and states, are intended to provide meaningful feedback and, critically, to weed out weak performers. And here are some of the early results: 

In Florida, 97 percent of teachers were deemed effective or highly effective in the most recent evaluations. In Tennessee, 98 percent of teachers were judged to be “at expectations.” 

In Michigan, 98 percent of teachers were rated effective or better. 

Advocates of education reform concede that such rosy numbers, after many millions of dollars developing the new systems and thousands of hours of training, are worrisome. 

“It is too soon to say that we’re where we started and it’s all been for nothing,” said Sandi Jacobs, vice president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, a research and policy organization. “But there are some alarm bells going off.”

You can see where this is going, can't you?

Grover J. Whitehurst, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, said variations in teacher quality had been proven to affect student academic growth. If an evaluation system is not finding a wider distribution of effectiveness, “it is flawed,” he said. 

“It would be an unusual profession that at least 5 percent are not deemed ineffective,” he added. 

Does the evaluation system at the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution deem 5 percent of the employees there "ineffective" every year?

If not, then it must be a flawed system.

Same goes for the employees at Students First and at the NYSED and the NY State Board of Regents and the Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation and the USDOE and all the other places where they promote "teacher effectiveness" and "rigorous evaluation systems".

Let's see the results of performance evaluations at these places.

In fact, let's start with this guy at the Brookings Institution.

What do the performance evaluations in this guy's department look like?

Seriously, he just made a blanket statement that an evaluation system for teachers has to find at least five percent  of those teachers ineffective or it's "flawed."

The same must be true at his institution as well.

Or are they all "above average" at Brookings?


  1. So let's twenty years ALL teachers would be considered failing, especially those who are further up the salary scale and are over 50.

    It is so much b.s. Learning is entirely dependent on a student's ability and desire to learn. A teacher has NO control whatsoever over this.

  2. The mention of the discredited and debunked NCTQ by the NYT immediately discredits the article.

  3. Teachers do, and should, affect students' learning. If that's not our job, what is our job? If we are not at all accountable for students' learning, then it doesn't matter what we do and there is no quality control or accountability. More importantly, we should be trained in the first place in the best methods of helping students learn. As a poorly-trained teacher myself, I am looking forward eagerly to the NCTQ's upcoming review of teacher-training programs, hoping to go back to school to get better training this time around.