Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-11-2012, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Paradise
3,663 posts, read 5,672,692 times
Reputation: 4865

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by marigolds6 View Post
That's why you have full time observers. Figure in a department of a dozen teachers, you could observe every single teacher for a full day 15 times per year. That's 70-100 classes per teacher per year.
That is a step in the right direction, but would be quite costly. You know the professional observers would have to be administrators @ over $100,000 a year and if every school had them in every department, well, you can do the math.

There are already too many complaints on how much money is spent in education.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-11-2012, 04:30 PM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 5,765,142 times
Reputation: 2981
They would not have to be administrators. I think they absolutely should not be administrators. Either you use existing teachers and rotate (which would mean one extra teacher per department) or you hire third-party reviewers from other districts, again people who are experienced subject matter experts. In that case, they are third party contractors. The latter is probably actually cheaper as you would not be paying full benefits.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2012, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Paradise
3,663 posts, read 5,672,692 times
Reputation: 4865
Quote:
Originally Posted by marigolds6 View Post
They would not have to be administrators. I think they absolutely should not be administrators. Either you use existing teachers and rotate (which would mean one extra teacher per department) or you hire third-party reviewers from other districts, again people who are experienced subject matter experts. In that case, they are third party contractors. The latter is probably actually cheaper as you would not be paying full benefits.
I absolutely agree, but I know what my district would do. They look for any reason to hire administrators.

Still, hiring one extra teacher per department would be expensive.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2012, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
20 posts, read 40,195 times
Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Everdeen View Post
What should be done with students' scores who:

Are special ed? Often those students' rate of growth is at a much slower pace. Should those scores be counted?

Transient students scores? Students who move from school to school is a huge issue in my district. Usually, there are so many huge gaps in their knowledge that they do not make much progress.

Behavior issue students? These are the students whose main purpose is to do what they want in your classroom and do not give a hoot about their education and impeding the education of others. They slow down the pace of instruction for everyone.

Students who are chronically absent? They pretty much don't learn anything.

Students who come from highly disfunctional homes? They come to school with mental anguish on their plates, that their thoughts are almost never on what is going on in the classroom.

Students who are skipping school?

Apathetic students? They do not want to be in school, but are forced to be there. They will go through the motions to keep adults off their backs, but hate school and learn nothing while they are there.

Students who refuse to do any homework to practice what they have learned in class?

Classes that have 40 students?

Students that come to school high? Teachers should be held responsible for those students' lack of achievement?

Students who copy other students' homework and then do not achieve on tests? This is specifically common in mathematics.

Teachers who are honest and do not violate the security test measures? The tests are supposed to be secure, but every teacher has unsupervised access to them for at least a small amount of time. I am convinced that cheating is more wide-spread than is reported.


And what about when teachers are handed curriculum that they must implement, but know it is bad pedagogy? In my district, someone with access to the budget decided to purchase a curriculum for $18 million. It is horrible, but I am required to use it. Believe me when I tell you, it will be here today and gone tomorrow. Should I be held accountable when I have so little input into the curriculum choices?

PE classes. Are we going to test math students on their math ability and not the PE students on their athletic ability.

Please, do not trot out that tired old argument about how, if the good teachers were truly good, they would inspire all the students who come to school with these issues (after all, how many could there be anyway?). I get one day. That's it. Then I must move on to the next concept. Fun, project based learning is very time consuming not to mention costly.

Don't believe, either, how Hollywood portrays the education system. You know, Jaimie Escalante shows up at high school and is the only teacher that cares and is capable and takes these poor children who have been neglected by the education system and uncaring teachers. That's Hollywood and they take "artistic license" to any degree they want. It does not have to resemble the truth.

Grading teachers using standardized tests has been implemented back east and is going down in dismal failure. It's a horrible idea, but I have no doubt it will be used for a while longer and many great teacher's careers will be destroyed until it is finally revealed for what the awful thing that it is.

Count special Ed? Yes. By indexing their scores against other similar special ed students.

Transient students? That depends on whether they come with matching baseline or previous year data. If so, they can count. If not, they are omitted from the analysis.

Students with behavior issues? Don't we all have them? There is indeed the likelihood that those students will drag the class down - to some degree. How the teacher/school handles and manages them becomes part of what makes a good teacher/school.

Chronically absent students? Yes. Absentee rate can become part of the equation.

Students from dysfunctional homes? Yes. Chances are they come in with low baseline scores and will leave with low final scores. As you note, there are a wide range of counterproductive behaviors that we all have to deal with. But if a student who comes in with say a 40%ile ability leaves your class with a 50%ile ability, that is a gain.

40-student classes? I would include those as well. If only to make the point that teaching that group is less effective. And here is the hard data to back up the claim.

Bad curriculum? Are all teachers given the same materials? Can one teacher overcome bad pedagogy better than others? Shouldn't that be recognized?

Teacher cheating on the exams? There would certainly be a motive. I don't know how other schools do it, but I have never been in the same room as the students while they are taking the tests.

PE classes? Of course not. Nor Art, or a whole host of elective topics. But there is a core, and the core is important.

You focus on all the difficult students, but the reverse can be just as troubling for a teacher. If you have a room full of focused energetic learners, they come in to your classroom with high baseline scores. Chances are they will leave with much higher abilities regardless of the quality of teacher. But the best teachers are more likely to give them an extra boost over a teacher who coasts on the laurels of the students.

Don't get me wrong though, I am not suggesting that this is either simple or foolproof. It takes a pile of data and still has gaps. But it is better than having a subjective analysis or nothing at all. For that matter, if a state or district micromanages the curriculum to the point where every classroom is supposed to be doing the same sentence of the book on the same date, there should be no ratings at all - we just became automatons.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2012, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Paradise
3,663 posts, read 5,672,692 times
Reputation: 4865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty3d View Post
Count special Ed? Yes. By indexing their scores against other similar special ed students.
Depending on the disability, sped students' ability to retain information learned varies greatly. On IEP's, they don't even delineate the disability in most cases. And they use blanket accommodations like, "allow student to use a calculator" or "allow students extra time to finish assignments" or "reduce number of homework problems". No real interventions to help the students.

Quote:
Transient students? That depends on whether they come with matching baseline or previous year data. If so, they can count. If not, they are omitted from the analysis.
In mathematics, when a child has received a disjointed education, their ability to learn new material is greatly compromised. Transient students usually have little foundation. A child who never learned multiplication facts is never going to understand slope, two-step equations, or any number of middle school concepts.

Quote:
Students with behavior issues? Don't we all have them? There is indeed the likelihood that those students will drag the class down - to some degree. How the teacher/school handles and manages them becomes part of what makes a good teacher/school.
Teachers who valiantly teach in high-poverty areas, have disproportionate amount of behavior issues. They will be compared to teachers who have less challenging classes. At the local high school, the Trig/Calc teachers have no idea what means to deal with behavior issues. They just think that they are wonderful because their students achieve and they rarely have behavior problems.

Quote:
Chronically absent students? Yes. Absentee rate can become part of the equation.
How? Remember too:

In mathematics, when a child has received a disjointed education, their ability to learn new material is greatly compromised. Students with high absenteeism usually have little foundation. A child who never learned multiplication facts is never going to understand slope, two-step equations, or any number of middle school concepts.


Quote:
Students from dysfunctional homes? Yes. Chances are they come in with low baseline scores and will leave with low final scores. As you note, there are a wide range of counterproductive behaviors that we all have to deal with. But if a student who comes in with say a 40%ile ability leaves your class with a 50%ile ability, that is a gain.
Yeah, I have heard this argument before. It seems logical, but a child who comes from a seriously dysfunctional home will unlikely improve. There are too many outside factors that get in the way. Depression, angst, fear, ...the kid's head will not be in the game.

Quote:
40-student classes? I would include those as well. If only to make the point that teaching that group is less effective. And here is the hard data to back up the claim.
If only the powers that be would use it like that. But you know they won't. Reformers will not make that distinction.

Quote:
Bad curriculum? Are all teachers given the same materials? Can one teacher overcome bad pedagogy better than others? Shouldn't that be recognized?
But think of the gains they could have made had their time and expertise had not been siphoned off by having to placate an administrator. I am still trying to figure out the minimum I must weave into my lessons to keep them off my back. I could be so much more productive without it.

Quote:
Teacher cheating on the exams? There would certainly be a motive. I don't know how other schools do it, but I have never been in the same room as the students while they are taking the tests.
Based on your responses, I think your teaching assignment is quite different than mine and many others. Dishonest teachers can eventually figure out a way to cheat. I am not dishonest and I can think of several. Imagine what a mind skilled in scheming could do.

Quote:
PE classes? Of course not. Nor Art, or a whole host of elective topics. But there is a core, and the core is important.
Why not test PE? I mean, if the teacher is a good teacher, they will inspire their students to perform in sports. They should be able to overcome all the issues the students have. Not only that, but they are paid the same as the core teachers. They should be held to the same standard. And it is important. Especially with our obesity rates.

Quote:
You focus on all the difficult students, but the reverse can be just as troubling for a teacher. If you have a room full of focused energetic learners, they come in to your classroom with high baseline scores. Chances are they will leave with much higher abilities regardless of the quality of teacher. But the best teachers are more likely to give them an extra boost over a teacher who coasts on the laurels of the students.
Actually, you will not see as much growth from students who come in with high baseline scores. As they approach a perfect score, it requires much more effort to move them up. It is similar to approaching an asymptote in calculus problem.

Quote:
Don't get me wrong though, I am not suggesting that this is either simple or foolproof. It takes a pile of data and still has gaps. But it is better than having a subjective analysis or nothing at all. For that matter, if a state or district micromanages the curriculum to the point where every classroom is supposed to be doing the same sentence of the book on the same date, there should be no ratings at all - we just became automatons.
But it is not subjective. It is a number that can varygreatly for a variety of reasons.

Here are additional problems VAM teacher assessment:

It has been implemented back east and is going down in dismal failure.

Measurement experts (not educators) have vehemently warned of using this metric for teacher evaluation calling it faulty, inappropriate, and unable to measure the effectiveness of a teacher.

Teachers will be incentivized to avoid students who, for whatever reason, may impact test score negatively.

I see teachers hiring attorneys when they are sanctioned for having lower test scores. If any teacher has any disproportionate demographic that makes achievement more difficult, he or she can make an legal argument that he or she is being sandbagged. In fact, I am sure there are administrators, right now, figuring on using this strategy to get rid of staff members they do not like, be it warranted or not.

We can try to disaggregate all the mitigating factors, but we won't be able to and, quite honestly, reformers don't want to. Teachers are going to nitpick because now their jobs are on the line.

I liken VAM teacher evaluations to communism. It seems fair and for some, utopian. When we put it in practice, however, it only makes the problems worse.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-12-2012, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,386 posts, read 35,525,084 times
Reputation: 14692
Quote:
Originally Posted by marigolds6 View Post
They would not have to be administrators. I think they absolutely should not be administrators. Either you use existing teachers and rotate (which would mean one extra teacher per department) or you hire third-party reviewers from other districts, again people who are experienced subject matter experts. In that case, they are third party contractors. The latter is probably actually cheaper as you would not be paying full benefits.
How are you going to hire third-party reviewers from other districts? Won't they be working in their districts during the day? I think you'd be better off with retired teachers who want to earn a part time wage.

However, you have an issue here. Contractors and third-party reviewers have no accountability to the district. I question as to where they loyalty of an extra teacher hired would be when it came to reviewing their peers. It would have to be administrators who have some accountability to the district.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-14-2012, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pa
1,436 posts, read 1,882,053 times
Reputation: 1631
I believe teachers should be ranked on the amount of test failed, and failing grades on report cards at the end of the year.

If one or two fail, then it's the students fault, but if 10-20 are failing, it's the teachers fault.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-14-2012, 06:30 PM
 
3,281 posts, read 6,274,498 times
Reputation: 2416
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris123678 View Post
I believe teachers should be ranked on the amount of test failed, and failing grades on report cards at the end of the year.

If one or two fail, then it's the students fault, but if 10-20 are failing, it's the teachers fault.
This is a good idea and makes perfect sense. Likewise I want to see doctors ranked on the amount of patients that die while under their care. I don't care if they're an oncologist and they're being compared to ophthalmologists. I also don't care if this leads to perverse incentives where the best and brightest doctors choose not to go into oncology. The best way to judge a doctor is by how many patients they are treating die.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-14-2012, 09:56 PM
 
Location: A coal patch in Pennsyltucky
10,379 posts, read 10,654,521 times
Reputation: 12704
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpv View Post
Excellent points. The action plans don't appear to be viable for high school teachers. It might work for elementary.
How do you think teachers should be evaluated, then?
I had responded in my previous post that testing needs to be included in a teacher evaluation. See my post above.

I agree that there are loads of problems with testing but every other kind of evaluation does little to address the end result of education, which is did the student learn anything while in that particular teacher's classroom. Teacher observations are like observing a football team for one play and judging how good they are. Or maybe a better comparison would be observing a football coach for one practice and evaluating how good of a coach he is. Coaches get measured on wins and losses, they aren't evaluated on things like:
  • plan, prepare and deliver instructional activities that facilitate active learning experiences
  • develop schemes of work and lesson plans
  • establish and communicate clear objectives for all learning activities
  • prepare classroom for class activities
  • provide a variety of learning materials and resources for use in educational activities
and all of the other items listed in post #6. These objectives are typical human resources garbage. You can get an "exceeds expectations" on all of these job specifications and be a less than mediocre teacher.

Coaches understand they are measured on results, not on how they achieve those results. Coaches understand that success comes from extra effort and not just showing up for practice. They understand that practice time is valuable and don't waste it. Too many teachers think that teaching for 30-35 minutes of a 40 minute period is good enough. Too many teachers spend class time talking about their interests such as politics, sports, TV shows, hobbies, etc.

Testing is controversial and there will always be issues. First of all testing has to be critical to students' success. Most students realize sooner or later that the NCLB tests don't make any difference to the students success in school. How accurate can these scores be if students don't care about the results? Testing should be an important factor to determine whether a student moves forward in school.

The idea that by 2014 every child is supposed to test on grade level in reading and math needs to disappear. This is not going to happen without manipulating the system. What we should be evaluating is the incremental improvement of each child on a year to year basis.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-14-2012, 10:12 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 15,796,460 times
Reputation: 5478
An interesting conundrum.

I think it fair to suggest we have no idea how to evaluate teachers.

For a grand tour of the difficulties involved I strongly recommend the LA Times series on "value added".

Note they test this in a very narrow range. Elementary 3-5. This removes many of the hard things...how to deal with PE and Special ED and all the other peculiar skills.

The interesting thing is that, to a great degree, they fail to be able to evaluate teachers. They end up unable to legitimately separate over half the teachers from a single set. They are able to separate the very good and the very bad.

But more bad news. No one appears to have any real appreciation of who was what. Teachers, Administrators, Parents...all unable to sort...including the teachers found good and bad.

You appear to see somethings...long term teachers are not much different than short term teachers. Those will more education teach about the same as those with less.

So an interesting problem. How do teachers get better when it is not known how to evaluate "teach".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top