Thursday, September 02, 2010

Formula to Grade Teachers’ Skill Gains Acceptance, and Critics

Published: August 31, 2010

How good is one teacher compared with another?

A growing number of school districts have adopted a system called value-added modeling to answer that question, provoking battles from Washington to Los Angeles — with some saying it is an effective method for increasing teacher accountability, and others arguing that it can give an inaccurate picture of teachers’ work.

The system calculates the value teachers add to their students’ achievement, based on changes in test scores from year to year and how the students perform compared with others in their grade.

People who analyze the data, making a few statistical assumptions, can produce a list ranking teachers from best to worst.

Read more HERE


SOMD_Teacher said...

And if this is accepted, do you feel that teachers will still share lessons that are successful with each other? As a current teacher, I know that if my pubic "ranking" and possibly salary are based on where I rank compared to other teachers, I have no intentions on "helping" or "sharing" ideas with my coworkers. I know that sounds selfish but when my livelihood and families welfare depends on it... I will be just that... and I know that I will not be the only one that adopts the "sorry, but I have to beat you, not help you" attitude.

MikeB said...

Here is a paragraph from Alfie Kohn's article titled "The Folly of Merit Pay," which can be found in his book recommended on this blog:

In its most destructive form, merit pay is set up as a competition, where the point is to best one's colleagues. No wonder just such a proposal, in Norristown, Pa., was unanimously opposed by teachers and ultimately abandoned. Even those teachers likely to receive a bonus realized that everyone loses—especially the students—when educators are set against one another in a race for artificially scarce rewards.

Pitting teachers against each other is the exact opposite of what we should be trying to do. One of the things that is lacking in our schools is collaboration. We need teachers to work together more, not less, and systems such as these will create a hundred individuals working toward their own end, instead of a team working toward a common goal.

MikeB said...

Also, here is a link to the entire article for those interested in reading it:

The Folly of Merit Pay

Jennifer Abell said...

This is not something being proposed in Charles County at this time. It was just an education article I posted for everyone to see whats going on in other jurisdictions. I don't believe this "formula" would work well for the exact reasons you ,mentioned. I would be interested in hearing/seeing ideas on ways to reward teachers that go above and beyond. I have hesitation about merit pay also. Do you have any ideas?