School systems around the country are trying to use objective, quantifiable measures to identify which are the good teachers and which are the bad ones. One popular approach used in New York, Chicago and other cities, is to calculate a value-added performance measure (VAM). Essentially, you create a model that begins by calculating how much […]
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The school year has begun for children and teachers; it also needs to begin for Congress. At the core of the federal government’s small but vital role in Pre-K-12 education is the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). First introduced in 1965 at a time when our national leaders wanted to act on their belief […]
Kneeling on the classroom floor, student teacher Adam Samuels helps second-graders count Goldfish crackers and paper clips. Sure, this lesson quizzes the students on their math skills — but it’s also a test of Samuels’ ability to teach.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — On her last day of student teaching, Kirsten Smock was trying to guide her first-graders at West Terrace Elementary School through a lesson about fractions. She put up a picture of a circle divided in thirds, with one piece shaded green, and prompted students to describe the image. She wanted students to […]
For Marcus Robinson, the CEO of EdPower, videotaping teachers started out as just a way to solve a nagging student-teacher classroom conflict. EdPower runs two charter schools and last summer began managing Arlington after the state took the school over from Indianapolis Public Schools, citing six years of low test scores.
Lesa Worthington, a third-grade teacher at Greensburg Elementary School, keeps a green folder on her desk for paperwork from her evaluation. It holds student data, information about the student learning objectives she had to set and painstakingly detailed notes from the five observations by her principal this year. By late April, the folder was stuffed. […]
When former Gov. Mitch Daniels and then State Superintendent for Public Instruction Tony Bennett pushed a massive overhaul of teacher evaluation through the legislature in 2011, the promise was a bold new system that would reward the best teachers, weed out the worst and for the first time tie pay raises to student test scores. […]
For three years, Kimberly Safran has been on the front lines of the Pittsburgh school district’s push to hold teachers more accountable for student achievement. As co-principal at Brashear High School, a large, economically and racially diverse school on the city’s South Side, she spends most of her time watching teachers in action, taking notes […]
This week, the National Council on Teacher Quality issued a report on teacher education in America that looked at 1,130 university programs. While the report overreached in its attempt to rate individual programs because of thin data, in aggregate it presented a deeply disturbing picture of teacher preparation in the United States. It described a […]
Yesterday, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its first national ratings of teacher-preparation programs. Passing judgment on 1,200 undergraduate and graduate programs across the country—but not other routes to teacher certification, such as Teach For America—NCTQ painted a dismal picture. Only four institutions rated four out of four stars: Furman, Lipscomb, Ohio State […]