After reading the recent stories in this newspaper about "value added" evaluations, which look at whether individual teachers raise or lower their students' test scores, I requested a link that would allow me to look at my scores in advance of their publication. I had no idea where my ranking might fall. Heart pounding and palms sweating, I clicked on my name, and when I looked at the graph, I was relieved — momentarily. My scores were high. But almost immediately I felt terrible, like a fraud. I felt more removed from teaching than I had in my 15 years on the job. This was my value as a teacher?
To have my worth measured by a tool that I do not trust, and then to have that measurement published to show how I rank against my peers and colleagues, racks my nerves, and I am not one who rattles easily: Remember, I teach fifth grade. But I know how arbitrary those scores can be, and the idea that they alone can identify which teachers are most and least effective is absurd.Read the rest here.