Archive for the ‘Value-added scores’ Category

Can we really measure effective teaching? Yes, says new Gates Foundation study.

downeyart0726 (Medium)After three years of research and an investment of $45 million, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believes it now knows how schools can fairly and reliably measure effective teachers.

While student test scores are part of the solution, scores alone are not enough to gauge how well a teacher is performing, according to the Gates-funded Measures of Effective Teaching Project.

Released Tuesday, the final report from the MET Project says a three-prong approach, multiple classroom observations, student surveys and student growth as measured by  state test scores, provides a good picture of how effective a teacher is. The project found that an accurate observation rating for a teacher requires two or more lessons, each scored by a different certified observer.

The report will likely resonate in Georgia, which is in the midst of rolling out a new teacher evaluation system funded by the state’s Race to the Top grant. Georgia is spending millions on its new evaluation system, which …

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A charter school renewal discussion today by Atlanta school board shows that breaking up is hard to do

In the charter schools discussion of late, I’ve mentioned that charter schools don’t necessarily close when they fail to meet their contractual academic goals.

And we had an example of that today when the Atlanta school board took up the renewal of Atlanta Preparatory Academy, which has fallen far short of its academic goals and is among the city’s lowest performing schools.

On top of that, the charter school owes its management company $800,000, according to the board discussion.

Despite the school’s financial challenges and poor performance — it ranks in the bottom 20 percent in academic performance statewide — the Atlanta school board didn’t act on a staff recommendation to deny Atlanta Prep’s charter renewal and even discussed extending the school a five-year contract.

Last month, Atlanta released new data showing how many months of learning students averaged at each of its school in a year’s time. In a year of school, Atlanta Prep only added 6.9 months of learning, one of …

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Teacher power: Key education votes elsewhere in America

While there’s been a lot of attention in Georgia to the charter school amendment passage, there were major education issues decided elsewhere in the country.

John I. Wilson, a long-time special education teacher and former executive director of the National Education Association,  wrote about some of them in his Education Week blog.

In his essay, Wilson says these votes show that the public trusts its teachers.

Here is an excerpt but please read the full blog over at Ed Week.

To illustrate this, let’s look at one of the reddest states in America, Idaho. The voters were not fooled by misleading slogans like “Students Come First” or the rhetoric of Tom Luna, state superintendent of public instruction. They rejected three recently passed state laws that rolled back collective bargaining rights, implemented merit pay based on standardized test scores, and established laptops and online credits at the expense of teachers and reasonable class size. Voters listened to …

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Atlanta explains how it calculates value-added scores. Using scores for “improvement, not accountability.”

I ran a letter a few days ago from the principal of an Atlanta charter school expressing concerns about the value-added scores assigned to his school.

Atlanta is looking at both teacher and school-level value-added as part of its Effective Teacher in Every Classroom initiative. Using test scores, researchers are calculating how much “learning” Atlanta students gain in the standard school year. This sort of calculation is being made for school districts and teachers nationwide and will ultimately be done for every school system in Georgia  as we move to accountability models that measure student progress over time.

There is great debate over whether any value-added system — and Atlanta has hired some of the nation’s top experts to help it develop accurate value-added metrics — can be trusted.

Under Atlanta’s analysis, students at Atlanta Neighborhood Charter were found to only gain gain 5.2 months of learning in a year, one of the lowest scores in the district.

In a letter …

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Rating teachers: Ruining the profession and running off good people

With teacher ratings becoming a reality, many people are expressing concerns about the impact on the profession. I read two great pieces this weekend that I want to share here. (Also, please read the column I ran Friday from a charter school principal in Atlanta about his concerns over the low value-added score given his school.)

In an op-ed in The New York Times, Deborah Kenny, chief executive and founding principal of Harlem Village Academies and the author of “Born to Rise: A Story of Children and Teachers Reaching Their Highest Potential,” joins the chorus of concern, noting that her charter school once dismissed a teacher whose students posted great scores on tests. But the teacher derided students and was so negative to be around that other teachers were considering quitting. Yet,  under rating models based largely on student scores, that teacher would have been rated at the very top, Kenny says.

Kenny — who calls herself an opponent of teacher tenure and runs a …

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AJC uses Open Records to see value-added scores for APS. Some surprises. Heads up, this is future for all schools.

The AJC has a great story up this morning on Atlanta’s measurement of how much value its schools are giving their students, with a list of the scores for all APS schools.

The value-added scores quantify how much learning students gain from attending the school, presented in terms of months.

On average, students learn nine months worth of material.

In Atlanta, the highest value-added was found at Early College High School at Carver where students gain 17 months of learning in a single school year. The lowest was posted by Therrell School of Health and Science where students only gain 4 months of learning in a full school year.

The next lowest score was found at Atlanta Neighborhood Charter Middle School where students gain 5.2 months of learning in a year. Here is an essay by the principal of Atlanta Neighborhood Charter on his concerns over value-added scores and what they don’t tell you about his school.

According to reporter Jaime Sarrio: Atlanta is one of the first …

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