Friday, September 17, 2010


Gordon Maciennes of Taking Note discusses the concensus that has been reached between reformers and unions. I'm not sure we've reached any concensus here in MCPS. We prefer avoidance to concensus.

With all the controversy around VAM, there is a growing consensus between hard-core pay-for-performance advocates and teacher union activists:

•the current teacher evaluation system is close to useless, since just about every teacher is judged to be at least “satisfactory” if not “excellent”;
•VAM is a potentially promising method that might improve teacher evaluation and development, but it requires additional research and refinement;
•even when fine-tuned and more reliable, VAM should never be the sole measure of teacher effectiveness (the disagreement focuses on whether VAM should count for 30 percent or 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation); and,
•the other factors that should be incorporated in an improved teacher evaluation system are much squishier as they rely on professional and personal judgments from classroom observations or analysis of student work that are not uniform and quantifiable like standardized tests.

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