Daily Kos: Misreading Teacher Evaluation and Retention

Daily Kos: Misreading Teacher Evaluation and Retention

The League of Women Voters of South Carolina has released “How to Evaluate and Retain Effective Teachers” (2011-2013), but this report misreads the evidence on teacher evaluation and thus distracts high-poverty states from needed educational reform. [1]

A review of the report shows it does not establishing a clear problem with teacher quality in SC and misrepresents the current body of research on teacher evaluation, particularly value added methods (VAM) of evaluation.

As a high-poverty and racially diverse state, SC is similar to many other states facing educational hurdles, but those hurdles have less to do with identifying and ranking teacher quality and more to do with the inequitable distribution of teachers. Children of color, children in poverty, English language learners, and special needs students are taught disproportionately by inexperienced and un-/under-certified teachers. SC and other high-poverty states would do well to address teacher assignment and teaching conditions before experimenting with new teacher evaluation systems.

Ultimately, this report misreads and misrepresents the current understanding of how to evaluate and determine teacher quality—specifically through test-based methods.

continue reading at Daily Kos

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