Education Reform Is Failing and Destructive Across the Nation
The Folly of Teacher Evaluations Knotted to Student Testing
“Districts seeking to remove ineffective teachers must invest the time and resources in a comprehensive approach to evaluation that incorporates concrete steps for the improvement of teacher performance based on professional standards of instructional practice, and unambiguous evidence for dismissal, if improvements do not occur… [Test] scores should be only one element among many considered in teacher profiles…
“Given the importance of teachers’ collective efforts to improve overall student achievement in a school, an additional component of documenting practice and outcomes should focus on the effectiveness of teacher participation in teams and the contributions they make to school-wide improvement, through work in curriculum development, sharing practices and materials, peer coaching and reciprocal observation, and collegial work with students…
“What is now necessary is a comprehensive system that gives teachers the guidance and feedback, supportive leadership, and working conditions to improve their performance, and that permits schools to remove persistently ineffective teachers without distorting the entire instructional program by imposing a flawed system of standardized quantification of teacher quality” (Baker).
In short, the unethical “winner-take-all” economy generated by and for wealthy and powerful egomaniacs comes at the expense of everyone else. It is destroying the nation’s public school systems and their teachers and the representative democracy they embody.
Baker, Eva L. et al. (Paul E. Barton, Linda Darling-Hammond, Edward Haertel, Helen F. Ladd, Robert L. Linn, Diane Ravitch, Richard Rothstein, Richard J. Shavelson, and Lorrie A. Shepard). 2010. “Problems with the Use of Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers.” Briefing Paper #278. Washington D.C. Economic Policy Institute. http://www.epi.org/publication/bp278/