Using Test Results to Evaluate Teaching

The writing is on the wall… the DESE is in the process of recommending that the teacher evaluation system overhaul include data about teacher effectiveness using the state’s MCAS test.

I really am annoyed that no one is listening to teachers who are saying “Wait a minute…”. Not because we don’t want to be evaluated; a constructive evaluation and critique of how to do things better is always welcomed by me. But I do have some footnotes that need to be added to my students’ results.

Like students whose parent(s) don’t care enough about their child to get the child to school. I’m not talking about students who are absent for medical reasons here. If my teaching technique is so all-fired important, why is a student with 25, 30 or (all time winner) 44 absences allowed to count toward my effectiveness.

This spring I plotted student absenteeism/tardiness and percentile growth using the standardized reading assessment we administer (SRI) and — big surprise — the student with 44 absences not only didn’t make any gains, the student had negative growth. Well, duh. If the child isn’t in school and instead is watching daytime television, or playing video games, is this a shock?

No one wants to talk about the elephant sitting on that chair in the corner. But we need to…. learning success depends upon a student being in attendance. Without the student participating in learning activities, how can teacher effectiveness be measured.

One thought on “Using Test Results to Evaluate Teaching

  1. I agree! Showing up is the #1 predictor of student success, in my opinion.

    I try to encourage the kids to get to school (on time) every day; sadly, it’s not often in their control.

    My learners are only 6 and 7yrs old, but, I have sent home alarm clocks with a few students in the hope that they will be able to take some control over their destiny.

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