Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Still cleaning up Rhee's Value-Added mess in D.C.

Seattle teachers protest Rhee-forms.
They're still cleaning up the debris from Michelle Rhee's signature reform in D.C.. Her top-down imposed Value-Added IMPACT system of teacher evaluation has long caused havoc in the system here and elsewhere. Remember, it's also a central piece of Arne Duncan's Race To The Top.

The teachers union should have never agreed to IMPACT and evals based on student test scores.  The formula for tying every student's test score bump or dip directly to an individual teacher is so complicated and inherently error-ridden that it's bound to confuse parents and negatively affect teachers and students.

Monday's Washington Post reports that faulty calculations of the “value” that D.C. teachers added to student achievement in the last school year resulted in erroneous performance evaluations for 44 teachers, including one who was fired because of a low rating. School officials described the errors as the most significant since the system launched a controversial initiative in 2009 to evaluate teachers in part on student test scores.
Half of the evaluations for the 44 teachers were too high and half too low, said Jason Kamras, chief of human capital for D.C. Public Schools.
Current WTU Pres. Elizabeth Davis, called the disclosure disturbing.
“IMPACT needs to be reevaluated,” Davis said. “The idea of attaching test scores to a teacher’s evaluation — that idea needs to be junked.”
Now she tells us.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Chancellor Kaya Henderson, a Rhee protege, aren't likely to junk V-A regardless of its consequences.

We should also consider the shameful role played by some academics in the imposition of value-added evals. One case in point: It was back in October when Professors Thomas Dee of the Stanford Graduate School of Education and James Wyckoff of the University of Virginia were heaping praise on  Rhee's V-A program, calling it, effective and accurate.

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