Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Problem With Including Standardized Test Results As Part Of “Multiple Measures” For Teacher Evaluation

| 1 Comment

'Wagging tail' photo (c) 2008, Quinn Dombrowski - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

There’s a lot of discussion, and actual implementation of, standardized test results as part of “multiple measures”  for teacher — and for principal — evaluation.

Among other points, proponents suggest that no one is suggesting that they count as one-hundred percent, only a portion — usually somewhere between twenty and fifty percent.

That sounds very reasonable, doesn’t it?

Except that it isn’t….

Once you include test scores, no matter what percent you include, many teachers will tell you that it quickly becomes the “tail that wags the dog”  — it always stays in the back (or front) of your mind.  And, once it becomes part of an administrator’s evaluation (as some districts might or might not do as a “back-door” strategy when they can’t get an agreement to use it with teachers), as one administrator told me, it immediately tends to distort the principal/teacher relationship — teachers can become immediately suspicious of advice and counsel from their principal because they’ll be wondering if the advice is being given to help the teacher genuinely grow in their craft or if it is being offered to increase test scores.

So, then, what should multiple measures include, if not test scores?

There is no shortage of those examples, and you can find them at The Best Articles Describing Alternatives To High-Stakes Testing.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

Once-you-include-test

Print Friendly

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

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

One Comment

  1. Larry, you are so right on this. There is something so tempting, and seductive about the “numbers”. Even though it’s the hardest thing for a teacher (or administrator) to “move” it’s more tempting to try to change that test score than to invest in less “quantified” but higher impact things, like instructional methods, etc It’s a distraction we don’t need, It’s a distraction that students and schools don’t need. Just say no to VAM!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.