Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You, Me, and AGT – Part 2 | InterACT

You, Me, and AGT – Part 2 | InterACT:

You, Me, and AGT – Part 2

Last week, my classroom children took the California Standards Test.  This is about as thrilling as walking the plank during Shark Week.
In February, John Deasy announced that he wants 30% of my evaluation based on these test scores.  And then, later in the same week, came an email from my principal asking for my Stull Initial Planning Sheet.
Now, I don’t mind being evaluated and I like that being next door to my principal’s office means that he’s always in and out.  I like that he was a fellow teacher right there with me a few years ago and that he’s very, very close to the challenges of teaching and learning.  There’s trust.
I believe that measurement should be part of the job I do, and that I should be able to show some kind of proof that my children are learning.  So I don’t get it when people get all upset about data.  I am mystified when a colleague claims that teaching is an art that cannot possibly be measured and so we shouldn’t use any data at all in evaluation.  It’s complicated.  (Here’s a 14-minute video of Linda Darling-Hammond explaining all the factors that go into teacher effectiveness, just for a refresher:  It turns out that student attendance is just as big a factor as a teacher’s “value-added” value.)
However, folks can’t go around declaring a jihad on testing, or teachers, or evaluation or anything at all, unless