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Test Result Idolatry In Tennessee

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The Tennessean reports today:

Tennessee’s new way of evaluating classrooms “systematically failed” to identify bad teachers and provide them more training, according to a state report published Monday.

The Tennessee Department of Education found that instructors who got failing grades when measured by their students’ test scores tended to get much higher marks from principals who watched them in classrooms. State officials expected to see similar scores from both methods.

“Evaluators are telling teachers they exceed expectations in their observation feedback when in fact student outcomes paint a very different picture,” the report states. “This behavior skirts managerial responsibility.”

A response from the Tennessee Education Association:

But Schmoock took issue with the suggestion that too many teachers received passing marks when observed by principals.

“That’s quite an indictment of teachers,” she said. “There’s a suggestion that the data from the (test) scores is superior to the data from the observations, and we’re not at all sure that is true.”

And my colleague David B. Cohen’s wise tweeted comment:

 

Wouldn’t it be reasonable to question the validity of the test results as well, instead of jumping to the conclusion that principals and teachers aren’t doing their job?

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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