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  1. #1
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    Default Curious Grade for Teachers: Nearly All Pass

    From the New York Times:

    Curious Grade for Teachers: Nearly All Pass

    Across the country, education reformers and their allies in both parties have revamped the way teachers are graded, abandoning methods under which nearly everyone was deemed satisfactory, even when students were falling behind.

    More than half the states now require new teacher evaluation systems and, thanks to a deal announced last week in Albany, New York City will soon have one, too.

    The changes, already under way in some cities and states, are intended to provide meaningful feedback and, critically, to weed out weak performers. And here are some of the early results:

    In Florida, 97 percent of teachers were deemed effective or highly effective in the most recent evaluations. In Tennessee, 98 percent of teachers were judged to be “at expectations.”

    In Michigan, 98 percent of teachers were rated effective or better.

    Advocates of education reform concede that such rosy numbers, after many millions of dollars developing the new systems and thousands of hours of training, are worrisome.

    “It is too soon to say that we’re where we started and it’s all been for nothing,” said Sandi Jacobs, vice president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, a research and policy organization. “But there are some alarm bells going off.”

    The new systems, a central achievement of the reform movement, generally rate teachers on a combination of student progress, including their test scores, and observations by principals or others. The Obama administration has encouraged states to adopt the new methods through grant programs like Race to the Top.

    The teachers might be rated all above average, like students in Lake Wobegon, for the same reason that the older evaluation methods were considered lacking. Principals, who are often responsible for the personal-observation part of the grade, generally are not detached managerial types and can be loath to give teachers low marks.

    “There’s a real culture shift that has to occur and there’s a lot of evidence that that hasn’t occurred yet,” Ms. Jacobs said.

    But even the part of the grade that was intended to be objective, how students perform on standardized tests, has proved squishy. In part, this is because tests have changed so much in recent years — and are changing still, because of the new “Common Core” curriculum standards that most states have adopted — that administrators have been unwilling to set the test-score bar too high for teachers. In many states, consecutive “ineffective” ratings are grounds for firing.

    “We have changed proficiency standards 21 times in the last six years,” Jackie Pons, the schools superintendent for Leon County, Fla., said. In the county, 100 percent of the teachers were rated “highly effective” or “effective.”

    “How can you evaluate someone in a system when you change your levels all the time?” Mr. Pons asked.

    Until recently, Florida teachers were typically observed once a year for about 20 minutes and deemed satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Roughly 100 percent of them were rated satisfactory in 2010-11. Florida districts are spending $43 million in federal Race to the Top grant money on devising and beginning new methods.

    Generally, 50 percent of the evaluation is now based on administrators’ observations of teachers and 50 percent on student growth as measured by test scores (districts can alter that ratio to some extent). For the observation part, teachers are no longer rated simply on “classroom management” and “planning,” but rather on 60 specific elements, including “engaging students in cognitively complex tasks involving hypothesis generation” and “testing and demonstrating value and respect for low expectancy students.”

    One Leon County principal, Melissa Fullmore of Ruediger Elementary school in Tallahassee, said that had it been solely up to her, one or two of her teachers would have been graded “highly effective,” the top category. Three would have been marked “needs improvement,” one rung up from the bottom, and the rest would have fallen under “effective.”
    Last edited by Ivy; 04-05-2013 at 10:16 AM. Reason: removed portion of quoted article- do not post articles in their entirety without written permission from the publisher.

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  3. #3
    morose bourgeoisie
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    More cut-n-paste.

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    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    that article took an extremely large number of words to say "the proportion of teachers rated as effective depends entirely on how they've defined the cutoff for 'effective'". Durrrrrrr.

    This is why I don't usually read huge articles you've cut and pasted without any explanation as to why we should read it or what is interesting about the article. Resuming that policy now.
    -end of thread-

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    In Florida, 97 percent of teachers were deemed effective or highly effective in the most recent evaluations. In Tennessee, 98 percent of teachers were judged to be “at expectations.”
    Bold-faced lie. They should have tried being more subtle with their numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    that article took an extremely large number of words to say "the proportion of teachers rated as effective depends entirely on how they've defined the cutoff for 'effective'". Durrrrrrr.

    This is why I don't usually read huge articles you've cut and pasted without any explanation as to why we should read it or what is interesting about the article. Resuming that policy now.
    It took a large number of words to say teachers get a free pass under the current system where no actual evaluating goes on at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanton Moore View Post
    More cut-n-paste.
    Sorry I don't have time to chew your food for you.

  8. #8
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Disco, please don't post articles in their entirety on the forum. I've asked you privately not to do this but I guess you need reminding. It's in the FAQ because we've been served cease-and-desist notices in the past over this kind of thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by the FAQ
    Posting other People's Material: Do not post full articles/content from other authors and website without the permission of the content owner.
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/faq.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Disco, please don't post articles in their entirety on the forum. I've asked you privately not to do this but I guess you need reminding. It's in the FAQ because we've been served cease-and-desist notices in the past over this kind of thing.



    http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/faq.php
    Well then I'll just just posting.

    Later.

  10. #10
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I don't know what "just just posting" means but if you're taking your toys and going home, it's not necessary. Just post a link and a quote (and maybe some original thought/reaction of your own would help motivate people to reply).

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