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Do you support using student test scores to gauge teacher effectiveness?

L.A. Times 2013/01/08 22:00:00
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Student standardized test scores can accurately identify effective teachers, along with other performance measures such as classroom observations and pupil surveys, according to a major national study released Tuesday.

The study of 3,000 teachers in seven school districts by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation found that the controversial method of measuring student academic growth, known as value-added, was a valid indicator of how well teachers helped boost their students’ achievement over time.

As school districts across the country move to improve what is commonly viewed as ineffective teacher evaluation systems, the Gates study may accelerate the use of value-added, along with other measures of teacher performance.

student scores

Read More: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/01/stud...

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Top Opinion

  • Kigan 2013/01/10 00:40:58
    No
    Kigan
    +16
    Forcing teachers to teach to a test rather than teaching the important content is a huge part of why we're in the mess we're in.

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  • impiety 2013/01/19 08:00:55
    No
    impiety
    Students don't test the same way. I might be great at a history test but when it comes to math I'm not. I'm dyslexic with numbers. Does that mean my teacher is a bad teacher? No it doesn't.
  • cookie 2013/01/14 21:16:38
    No
    cookie
    Just No, that's not right using.........
  • Sunny 2013/01/14 20:21:59
    No
    Sunny
    The quality of teaching is important, but even if you have the perfect teacher you cant make children learn unless they want to. The teachers can NOT be held responsible completely for the students performance 80% Depends on if students are going to bother to open a book.
  • Aran Smeallie 2013/01/14 19:44:50
    Yes
    Aran Smeallie
    so long as the tests are at all practical.
  • WGN 2013/01/14 19:22:08
    No
    WGN
    +1
    That means that one teaches to the test, and that does not make for good learning, just a repeating of useless facts.
    Read Pablo Friere and his essays on "The Banking Concept of Education".
  • Brother Bo 2013/01/14 18:05:31
    Yes
    Brother Bo
    If you have a teacher that is passing students who haven't learned anything, then that teacher should be looking for another career.
  • toni 2013/01/14 16:35:08
    No
    toni
    the problem with using test scores to evaluate teachers is that it forces teachers to teach only for the test. The problem with that is you better have a lot of confidence in the test creators because they will be deciding what is taught in the classroom. Teacher evaluations are done by the principal who is judged by how well the students do on tests. If a teachers students do well on the tests, it is not in the principals best interest to give the teacher a bad evaluation. certainly there is minimum that every child should learn in each grade. Test need to be given for that reason, but they should be pass/fail only.
  • skevich 2013/01/14 14:30:38
    No
    skevich
    No. Stanadized tests are geared to people with iq's in the 70-112 range. They have been proven ineffective on anyone outside that range as a measure of academic growth.
  • doublelibra 2013/01/14 09:26:44
    No
    doublelibra
    Too much precious time is spent "teaching to the test". Testing does have some value in curriculum development, statistical comparisons of group data, and in identifying relative strengths and weaknesses of particular students. It is a small part of the overall picture, but should hardly be the sole determining factor in retaining individual teachers.

    Teachers are best evaluated locally, by their own districts. There are too many variables that impact learning, and it is a big mistake to judge teachers' performance on the basis of standardized tests. Good teaching is qualitative, and cannot accurately be measured simply by using cookie-cutter, quantitative methods.
  • marcuss LIBERALS ARE TRAITORS 2013/01/14 04:18:17
    Yes
    marcuss LIBERALS ARE TRAITORS
    Another SMELL-A-TIMES blog that defends incompetent teachers. Lazy teachers produce dumb ass Americans.
  • skevich marcuss... 2013/01/14 14:32:07
    skevich
    Maybe you should get more involved in your kids life and not expect teachers to learn for your kid.
  • marcuss... skevich 2013/01/14 15:31:05
    marcuss LIBERALS ARE TRAITORS
    My son is 34 and a chemical engineer at a nuclear power plant. My daughter is a real estate agent that has sold 5 million in homes 7 years in a row. My children were brought up to be responsible.
  • skevich marcuss... 2013/01/14 16:16:28
    skevich
    +1
    Which tells me a lot about your children. IQ is prolly around114. They did well on standardized tests. Grades were B's and above. In contrast to my friends and I all have IQ's over 120 doing mediocre on standardize testing and having grades ranging from A to F. We all dropped out of public university. By the way we all work jobs you prolly would think only idiots work. So by my standard most teachers are ineffective.
  • John.J.... marcuss... 2013/01/14 18:01:50
    John.J.J.Stevens
    +3
    Actually I have found the teachers to be rather competent however our society has encouraged absentee parenting, using the schools and television, daycare and camp to rear our young. Then where there are issues we as a culture then point to teachers, camp / daycare administrators to place blame. My daughters come home at night and I or my wife work with them on their homework. We read with them (have them read to us rather)every night, one of us with one daughter the other with the other. As a result we have noticed our children exceling in their academics working well above their grade level (granted they are only in second grade). Also my wife is a stay at home mom - we have managed to make that work for us, and we have noticed a difference in how our girls interact with others compared to other children who primarily have the TV as their primary caregiver. If a parent cares not how their child is developing .. why should the child?
  • marcuss... John.J.... 2013/01/14 20:35:47
    marcuss LIBERALS ARE TRAITORS
    +1
    My children did not have play station or x box parenting. They both have over a 125 IQ and have had plenty of schooling from both my wife and myself. In the summers they had 4 hours of book time a day and my wife made tests for them weekly. We raised responsible kids that are respectful and accomplishment driven. They spent time daily in the garden and when their chores were done they had their time to spend doing what they wanted. Responsible parenting is the key to having children that will become accomplished.
  • John.J.... marcuss... 2013/01/14 21:14:19
    John.J.J.Stevens
    +1
    I do commend you on how you have brought up your children and I couldn't agree more about responsible parenting being the key. However it does leave me to wonder at your initial comment regarding lazy teachers.

    My personal point of view is until the we parents ( some of us are already doing this ) step up and take responsibility for our children's development how can we truly hold the teachers accountable.

    To give you an idea of what I am talking about - I myself have both Dyslexia and Dysgraphia something that I may have passed on to my daughters - I made sure I spoke with both of their teachers regarding this so that if I have - these learning differences can be caught and I can work with the girls on how to overcome them (as I have done ) - Their teachers reacted in surprise when I brought it up because even though they had seen students that had these issues in the past only to discover LATER that one or both parents had also had these difficulties. It was more important to me that those educating my daughters have an idea of what difficulties they may have ahead of time - to give them the best opportunity to aid in my daughters' education. I wasn't so embarrassed about my learning difficulties that I would neglect giving my daughters a better chance.

    Don't know if I...
    I do commend you on how you have brought up your children and I couldn't agree more about responsible parenting being the key. However it does leave me to wonder at your initial comment regarding lazy teachers.

    My personal point of view is until the we parents ( some of us are already doing this ) step up and take responsibility for our children's development how can we truly hold the teachers accountable.

    To give you an idea of what I am talking about - I myself have both Dyslexia and Dysgraphia something that I may have passed on to my daughters - I made sure I spoke with both of their teachers regarding this so that if I have - these learning differences can be caught and I can work with the girls on how to overcome them (as I have done ) - Their teachers reacted in surprise when I brought it up because even though they had seen students that had these issues in the past only to discover LATER that one or both parents had also had these difficulties. It was more important to me that those educating my daughters have an idea of what difficulties they may have ahead of time - to give them the best opportunity to aid in my daughters' education. I wasn't so embarrassed about my learning difficulties that I would neglect giving my daughters a better chance.

    Don't know if I am making sense to anyone by myself in this little book .. but .. hey .. it is what it is. (btw I was so severe that I was told I would never read past a third grade level and we won't get in to my writing skills lol )
    (more)
  • marcuss... John.J.... 2013/01/14 23:52:53
    marcuss LIBERALS ARE TRAITORS
    If you look at the cities that have sub par test scores they are cities that are progressive controlled. My son in high school could have done a better job at teaching algebra and geometry than the teacher. When a student is more adept at the courses they are taking the teacher is only there to collect a check. Teachers shoulde be qualified on a yearly basis to assure they are responsible enough to educate our children.
  • John.J.... marcuss... 2013/01/15 00:28:04
    John.J.J.Stevens
    I understand where you are coming from and am all for "Requalification" however I disagree with it being just in "Progressive controlled" cities. Lets take an honest look at our congress - they communicate at a ninth grade level and have done so for quite some time. We have state legislatures trying to push unsupported items as scientific fact and push out evidence based science for things supported by faith alone (and I am not just talking creationism here - according to several members of the House of Representatives fossil fuels don't actually exist and they actually said this on camera ) Many of the "Good" teachers have left us to teach in other locations/countries that support fact based learning, and critical thinking. We have been left with those that stuck it out so far, we also used to have auditors coming into classes to monitor how a teacher is doing over various periods of time as spot checks. I would love to see that practice come back into fashion
  • marcuss... John.J.... 2013/01/15 03:44:11 (edited)
    marcuss LIBERALS ARE TRAITORS
    Actually if you look at the graduation rates of progressive controlled cities the percent of graduates are shocking compared to conservative areas. The school district where I live has a graduation average of 96%. We demand that teachers strive for excellence at teaching our children. The school board meetings are always monitored by numerous residents of the district.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
  • urwutuis 2013/01/14 03:45:37 (edited)
    Yes
    urwutuis
    +1
    How else can you reliably measure comparative effectiveness in a militaristic educational system?

    Remember, they're not trying to create thinkers they're trying to create consumers.
  • Helmholtz 2013/01/14 02:47:55
    Yes
    Helmholtz
    To some extent. Or, rather, the growth from when they got the kiddos to when they were finished.
  • EmoMcParland 2013/01/14 02:18:06
    No
    EmoMcParland
    +2
    We should use student test scores to score parental effectiveness. If the students scores,are passing, the the education is free if they are failing, make them pay for the kids education.
  • drdos1943 2013/01/14 01:14:23 (edited)
    No
    drdos1943
    +7
    Way, way back in the Middle Ages, when I was in 8th grade, I had a social studies teacher who not only taught the curriculum, but also taught us how to think for ourselves and judge for ourselves and always question and be curious.. From that time on, I never had to worry about passing any test. I have never forgotten him and what he taught me... and I have taught in the same way.
  • Morgan 2013/01/14 00:09:33
    No
    Morgan
    +3
    Absolutely not. what you are taught and what you learn are two totally different things. you give the same standardized test to different students with different skills, learning capabilities, and test taking skills, the results on what they learned is going to be totally false! Test
  • Lyka Midik 2013/01/13 23:50:36
    No
    Lyka Midik
    Most of the students in schools I have attended are not actually interested in learning, many just copy work.

    I remember this one Chemistry class I was in where only myself + 4 of the other students were actually doing the work. Our teacher was always dumbfounded when we had tests because only 5 students would score 85-100% while the other students would score around 0-55%. He would end up having to grade our scores on a curve so that the majority of students wouldn't fail. It was a complete joke. An exchange student named Nhat and I were competing to see who could achieve the highest grade in the class. At the end of the semester he beat my A @ 763% with his A @ 795%...
  • Frank 2013/01/13 23:28:41
    No
    Frank
    +1
    In certain schools in certain locations the teacher takes their life into their own hands just by teaching there..........
  • alex.higginbotham 2013/01/13 22:32:02
    Yes
    alex.higginbotham
    +2
    I currently am a high school junior, and think it's a wonderful idea. I have a pitiful teacher who can't understand why we all get such bad scores on her tests. "I must just have gotten all the bad students", she actually had the gall to say. When all of the students in other teacher's classes of the same subject are getting test scores 2-3 times as good as yours, there's a problem. But it couldn't be the teacher could it?
  • skevich alex.hi... 2013/01/14 16:49:40
    skevich
    +1
    Actually counselors do put all the bad students in one class so the don't impede the students that want to be there learning. I know this because I actually work in the school system.
  • alex.hi... skevich 2013/01/15 00:33:43
    alex.higginbotham
    Ah, so now I'm a bad student huh? I've never been to the principles office for anything other than awards, I've never had below and A in my life until her class, where I now have a B+, and I've received the "Student of the Month Award" every year since 6th grade. Aside from that, two of the smartest people I've ever met are in that class with me. One of them is 1st in our class, and the other is 3rd. I don't think it's just the class. Oh, and I forgot to mention the fact that it's the same in all of the rest of her chemistry classes as well.
  • ««Gingey, the Master Debate... 2013/01/13 22:21:52
    No
    ««Gingey, the Master Debater of Þ|-|Дэ†»»
    +2
    I went to a school in a low income area. The teachers were fine. However, the students came from backgrounds where education was not valued at all! You can be the best teacher in the world, and your message still won't get across kids with terrible upbringings. The best education starts at home.
  • sardonicist BN-0 2013/01/13 20:20:32
    Yes
    sardonicist BN-0
    The only problem that I can see with this is that teachers would be treated unfairly if they happen to get poor performing students in their class. This would then require more efforts to ensure that teachers get a fair mix of kids to start with, and some districts will have unfair advantages over others. Nonetheless, we need a way to hold teachers accountable, an to reward the ones that do a good job. Some teachers should not be teachers at all, and without something like this, there is no way to get rid of them.
  • shadow76 2013/01/13 19:48:42
    No
    shadow76
    No, they should be judged by what students actually have learned.
  • Ado Christian 2013/01/13 18:43:34
    No
    Ado Christian
    Teachers have no control over the quality of the class they are assigned to "teach". Teachers may be graded on their ability to present the material, but they should not be graded on whether or not students apply what is presented. Teachers have no control over students motivation to learn. Knowledge can't simply be passed out to kids like books. Inner city school teachers would be at an unfair disadvantage when their pool of students contain a high percent of students from single parent homes, students with "attitudes" toward authority figures, and students who have no motivation to even be in a classroom.
  • Grandpa 2013/01/13 14:25:41 (edited)
    Yes
    Grandpa
    +1
    I can see why we now have 466 votes >. Those are the ones who just stand in front of the clas and write on the blackboerd ,without teaching >> They just stand for 8 hours and then go home >>> Get rid of the Sport camps put the machinery back in the schools and give HANDS ON TRAINING needed to get a job >> Wood Shop,metal shop,auto shop and a lot less teahing sports to make money for the school >>> Most kids can read the words ,BUT HOW MAY COMPREHEND the SUBJECT MATTER ???????? Get rid of TENURE and the unions controling our schools with strikes for more money >> WHEN IS ENOUGH < ENOUGH >>> MORE MONEY "DOES NOT MAKE A BETTER OR MORE SMARTER TEACHER
  • daylight 2013/01/13 11:49:12
    Yes
    daylight
    You better believe it!!! Teachers who are teaching because they are called to teach, passion to teach. Not those who are seeking government support the rest of their life!!!~
  • SoapBoxLady 2013/01/13 10:07:28
    Yes
    SoapBoxLady
    +1
    Only if the tests are NOT administered and scored by the teacher and the scores are evaluated based on improvement from year to year so that teachers are not handicapped by not teaching in the better school districts. We need effective teachers, not just those who have been breathing the longest. The ony way most states can get rid of ineffective teachers is to have them retire or die. But soon all the baby boomers will be gone and then the next wave of incompetents will come in and get jobs teaching only because there will be another severe shortage. So many young teachers gave up because there were no jobs for so long. There are too many tests. There should be one at the beginning and one at the end of the school year. Most teachers can tell where students are grade wise early in the school year anyway.

    evaluating teachers cartoon
  • Mr. Stark 2013/01/13 04:02:16 (edited)
    No
    Mr. Stark
    +1
    No. It erodes the process of education by facilitating superficial notions of achievement in order to perpetuate a high-class image. If we worried more about educating people, and resolving the various impediments to do so - standardized tests would be a breeze, and we could actually live by what we say we do.
  • Pete 2013/01/13 03:52:31
    No
    Pete
    +2
    Standardized testing is primarily "big business." Those mandatory standardized tests, which almost always have nothing to do with curriculum, cost school districts and taxpayers millions. Appropriately known by acroynms like CAT, MAT, and RAT, these phony tests come and go, with one totally irrelevant test being replaced by another expensive but equally pointless test. For example, a typical Washington state test which does not relate to the adopted state curriculum content has recently inspired teachers in one Seattle high school to refuse to give the test. They are risking loss of their jobs to make a statement about the debilitating effect of test dominance on teaching and educational effectiveness. This latest example of educational stupidity is called the MAT, and it recently replaced a test called the WASL, a test which drove many extemely competent and caring teachers from the profession because of the stranglehold it placed on teachers' efforts to teach students meaningful material in creative and effective ways. Ironically, in the misguided attempt to evaulate teachers solely through testing, administration has driven from the profession thousands of the best teachers who really want to teach instead of spending futile time preparing students for a test that has little relevance to the reality of curriculum. How do I know this? I've been there and done that.
  • Frank Stephens 2013/01/13 03:41:58
    Yes
    Frank Stephens
    +1
    Everyone (except teacher union bosses) agree our educational system is broken. Good teachers ARE essential to a student's success. How do we evaluate the teacher? The same way we evaluate the plumber, grocer, insurance agent, Congressman, or President -- by their performance. Why is it union bosses REFUSE to even consider an evaluation of teachers? Is it because they know the dismal result we will find? .
  • juneathomas 2013/01/13 03:30:45
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