Monday, June 13, 2016

Less test-iness over L.A. teacher evaluations - LA Times

Less test-iness over L.A. teacher evaluations - LA Times:

Less test-iness over L.A. teacher evaluations


Sebastian, who goes by one name, takes issue with the new teacher evaluation system in Los Angeles. Her rating has declined, unfairly in her view.
The San Pedro High teacher is hardly the only one with concerns.
Some see the observation-based system — negotiated by the district and unions  — as too friendly toward teachers. Others say it's too cumbersome or too reliant on principals with limited expertise.
Supporters see the district’s approach as breaking ground, even leading the nation. Critics say the kind of political compromise it was born of inevitably promotes mediocrity and fails to help students.
The latest revisions to the one-year-old system are expected to win formal approval at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting. The pact was achieved with far less acrimony than usually has accompanied efforts here and elsewhere to overhaul how teachers are assessed.
But, said Dan Goldhaber, a professor at the University of Washington with extensive experience in teacher-evaluation research, “The ultimate test is: Is this having positive, measurable effects on teachers and students?”
In L.A., it’s still too early to say, even more than six years into a sweeping endeavor to revamp how instruction is measured and improved. 
Notably missing in the latest system is any direct reliance on student standardized test scores to determine whether teachers keep their jobs. Test scores now are to be used instead for analyzing student needs, setting goals and reviewing progress toward achieving them.
Until recently, the Obama administration pushed hard for test-based evaluations, as did well-heeled foundations with an outsize influence on the nation’s education policy. But opponents called them inconsistent and unfair.
Across the country, aligning against them along with teachers were many parents, who  Less test-iness over L.A. teacher evaluations - LA Times:

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