Thursday, March 06, 2014

Teacher Evaluation Bill in Trouble in Legislature?

 UPDATE: There's a 5 p.m. deadline today for all non-budget-related bills to be voted off the floor.  So we will know by the end of the day the outcome for the teacher evaluation bill.

end of update.

That's the chatter from Twitter mostly via Times' reporter, Brian Rosenthal.   Hmmm.

Inslee deflecting larger Qs on testing. Says this is all about $: "I don't have the luxury...to opine about situations that do not exist.

Hearing from several ppl, including finance chair Reuven Carlyle, that the teacher eval bill is having a very hard time in the state House.

Wonder why the eval bill is in trouble? Here's the top D on Senate ed panel surrounded by about 2 dozen teachers

Inslee in presser: Teacher-eval bill "has met some resistance, but there's still plenty of time to get this job done"

Update: Texas has lost its bid for a waiver under NCLB.  Theirs was over having multiple assessments for math in middle school.  Despite losing:

Commissioner of Education Michael Williams is discouraging local school districts and charters from double-testing middle school students taking Algebra I.

“The waiver request was submitted because I do not believe that double testing middle school students is instructionally appropriate nor a valid evaluation of mathematics for Texas middle schools and high schools,” said Commissioner Williams. “Given state and federal testing requirements, federal denial of our amendment request, and the Texas Legislature’s decision to reduce end-of-course testing to one high school mathematics assessment, I am eliminating any perceived incentives a district might have had for double testing students for accountability purposes.”


Commissioner Williams acknowledged his primary concern remains that some school districts may make poor instructional decisions regarding accelerated students. For example, to avoid the dilemma of having these students’ scores attributed to a middle school campus (instead of the high school campus), some districts might reconsider offering Algebra I at the middle school level.

“Such a move would seriously disadvantage students who move quickly through the mathematics curriculum in grades K-8 and would benefit from taking advanced coursework in middle school,” said Commissioner Williams. “Should a Texas district or charter elect to make such a move, this stalls students’ academic progress and provides them with one less opportunity to take an advanced mathematics course or another relevant upper-division course in high school.”


Kathy said...

The Senate has already voted NO on the teacher evaluation bill. It is time for Inslee to respect the will of the people and push funding over poor policy. I'm finding Inslee likes to push initiatives from the top 1% and ignore the masses.

Anonymous said...

Good - I'm glad to see there is some resistance. The teacher eval bills are all terrible. Tying teacher evals to student test scores will narrow the curriculum even further, make it harder to staff low income schools, encourage more test prep, and send more good teachers out of the profession. Teachers of high scoring kids (i.e. APP, Spectrum) will find themselves rated poorly because their kids won't show as much - if any - growth on standardized tests where many of them already achieve the maximum score. Divisions among staff will occur as the perception of - or reality of - unfairly balanced classes result in lower evaluations due to test scores. Grade inflation at the MS and HS level will occur more as students can hold teachers hostage - if you don't pass me, I'll bomb this test so you get a bad evaluation.
And, at a time when teachers need to be working together more than, evaluating teachers with student test scores pits them against each other.
Then there's also the fact that student test scores are most closely correlated with income, not teacher quality, and topped off with the minor detail of absolutely no research showing student test scores are a reliable measure of student quality, and you've got a huge mess. Not to mention the encroachment of the Feds into state educational policy....
All of the teacher eval bills should go down in flames, and Inslee should grow a spine and tell Arne Duncan where to stick it. He should start by talking to Patty Murray, who will soon control the purse strings for the Dept of Ed.


Kathy said...

I agree that Inslee should grow a spine, but don't count on Inslee or Murray. Both of these individuals helped push 20,000 machinists under the bus..when Boeing has $440B worth of planes to build.

Inslee also gave the biggest tax break in history to Boeing- $8.7B. The deal was shrouded in secrecy and pushed through the legislature in 3 days. I don't have a lot of trust or respect for Inslee and Murray.

Kathy said...

Sorry, make that 28,000 machinists.

Anonymous said...

True. So much for standing up for the little guy. Ksharma Sawant has done a better job of that than Inslee

Perhaps the biggest issue is that the required test that will be added to teacher evaluations is the SBAC - which is slated to have how many kids fail? This test has never been tested, isn't even really DONE yet, but it's OK to use that as another cudgel in the teacher-bash. Delightful.
What's sad is that many people think this is OK. WA State has been spared some of the things that are hitting the fan elsewhere, but now it's our turn. We've now got charters and will get to deal with all their accompanying fraud and mess, and now that the gov has sold out teachers, WA State officially joins the true high-stakes testing fiasco. Vermont is looking pretty damn good about now.


Melissa Westbrook said...

WA State has been spared some of the things that are hitting the fan elsewhere, but now it's our turn.

CT, this is precisely what I learned from going to the NPE conference. Other parents in other states are truly suffering (for their children). I hope we can be the smart state that we are and keep this to a minimum.

Anonymous said...

CT, the other day I let your statement regarding the validity and reliability of student tests go by --- today, I'm going to challenge you. Your statement above --- "absolutely no research showing student test scores are a reliable measure of student quality" --- is simply false. Since I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "student quality," I'm going to make some general statements regarding student performance.

Let me begin by making a qualification: The whole of a student's knowledge CANNOT be measured on standardized tests. In other words, no single test can measure all that a student knows. Furthermore, no single test SHOULD be used as a sole indicator of student performance and, therefore, no single test should be used to evaluate teacher performance.

But to claim as you have that there is no research that supports the validity and reliability of standardized tests is simply false. Here in Washington, the state tests MUST demonstrate their validity and reliability in assessing student performance against the EALRS and GLEs. The state tests have been shown, through research, to be valid and reliable measures of student understanding of the state content standards.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

swk -
TEACHER quality, not student quality is what I said. Look again. Furthermore, using the student tests to judge teacher quality is not what they were designed for, thus the validity of the test is further compromised FOR THAT PURPOSE.
Follow that up with the fact that the SBAC isn't even done, hasn't been fully tested (no history of reliability or validity), and we have no idea how kids will do on it, but it's OK to make that a major part of teacher evals? That's a recipe for disaster.

And if you want me to respost links from a previous post, fine. But for now, start here:

I also have large stacks of peer reviewed research articles on teacher evaluation, test construction, assessment, high-stakes testing, all in .pdf fomat or print versions that I am more an happy to disseminate to you in some manner. If you have access to a database you can do your own searches - look for research by Marilyn Cochran-Smith, David Berliner, Gene Glass, Gerald Bracey, Bebell & O'Dwyer, Linda McNeil, Linda Darling-Hammond, Shulman - just to name a few. They've all written extensively on issues around teacher evals, student assessment, international test crapola, pedagogy and content knowledge, etc.

Cheers to reading glasses!

Anonymous said...

Ah swk - seems I need the reading glasses too when typing on the iPad - I see the ONE spot above where I mistyped student quality rather than teacher quality. That was a TYPO.
Student test scores are not a reliable measure of TEACHER quality and there is absolutely no PEER REVIEWED research to show that they are. Student test scores are most closely correlated to income levels, not teacher quality.


Anonymous said...

Wow, CT, that was some heavy duty snark you just blasted at me. Did you mean to suggest that I should get some "mind reading glasses"? I put your statement in quotation marks in my previous post --- I took your statement verbatim. Was I supposed to know it was a TYPO? And you'll have to forgive me for not thinking it was a typo, when you posted this statement on 3/4/14 - "Assumption 1) the test is a valid and reliable judge of student knowledge. False."

And if YOU read my statement above closely, you'll see nothing in it supporting the use of student test scores in teacher evaluation. But, again, I will challenge you on the validity and reliability of the state tests in judging student knowledge of the state content standards --- the EALRs and GLEs.

--- swk

Anonymous said...


It seemed pretty clear to me from the context what CT meant.

BTW, the tests can measure what the students know while at the same time not measuring teacher quality.

I don't take CT's animus as "snark" but as an attacked person, a teacher, trying to deal with the onslaught of daily attacks through the armour of information. Believe me, it gets old.

--enough already