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How not to evaluate teachers: Tennessee edition

By John Published: November 7, 2011

Michael Winerip reports in the New York Times that the Tennessee system of evaluating teachers based on test scores includes peculiar provisions for teachers who teach subjects not included in statewide tests. No test scores for the art teacher? No problem in Tennessee:

Because there are no student test scores with which to evaluate over half of Tennessee's teachers kindergarten to third-grade teachers; art, music and vocational teachers the state has created a bewildering set of assessment rules. Math specialists can be evaluated by their school's English scores, music teachers by the school's writing scores.

Just pause for a moment to consider that absurdity and how much time and money these folks are stealing from the deserving children of Tennessee while they manipulate test scores in the name of reform.

Ohio is working now on a system for evaluating teachers in which the standardized test scores of their students account for 50 percent of their evaluation. It has to be ready by the 2013-2014 school year. But like Tennessee, not all subjects in Ohio are tested and the ones that are, aren't tested in every grade. If value-added measures are to be used, they're only applicable for grades 4-8 and just for reading and math.




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