Back to the Drawing Board

Most teachers have to take standardized test for certification purposes, but those aren’t the test scores that decide whether teachers are effective. They are test scores from tests that teachers don’t take:

The question of whether teacher evaluations are reliable indicators for teacher effectiveness has long been controversial. But New York City reignited the debate when it rated thousands of teachers with test scores alone — and then released those ratings to the public.

What if we took this mindset to other disciplines, so that a doctor was rated based on whether his or her patient took the medicine prescribed or a physical trainer based on the physical fitness test of his or her clients. It doesn’t make sense in other disciplines and it doesn’t make sense in teaching.

You simply can’t hold teachers accountable in the sense of determining their pay and their job stability based on the actions of students because students are human beings just like the rest of us. They aren’t products on a product line that have information dumped into their heads and hope it stays there.

There’s simply too many outlying factors statistically that could contribute to student test scores that are out of the teacher’s and school’s hands to make this type of evaluation system sound, but because one school district has done it, there is a belief that it accurate and reliable. Let’s go back to the drawing board on this one!