I am following the story of the 488, and counting, principals from Long Island that, along with a number of colleagues, signed a letter to the state of New York protesting the use of student test scores to evaluate teacher and principal performance. This is a reminder of the importance of work in the area of assessment, and the critical thought necessary to ensure that assessments are created so that all students can show exactly what they know and can do, that they are asked to show the right stuff, and that their results are analyzed and used in appropriate ways.
With seven more states competing in the 3rd round of the “Race to the Top” competition, there will be an increase in the number of states bound to incorporate student assessment results into educator evaluations. Have we learned enough from rounds 1 and 2 of the competition on this issue to inform decision making this time around? That is likely wishful thinking. Educator evaluation will only be effective with tremendous buy-in from those being evaluated. It will be important to continue this dialogue until most educators believe that large-scale assessment is able to accurately reflect what they have taught their students. For now, multi-faceted approaches including more extensive classroom observation, portfolios of lesson plans, peer review, performance against goals, etc. should constitute the vast majority of educator evaluation scores.
For access to the story follow this link: http://nyti.ms/unPMSb.