Friday, February 24, 2012

teacher data reports:

      NYC is publishing its teacher data reports today for 4-8th grade English and math teachers who have taught at least 2 years out of the last 4. Diana Ravitch and Bill Gates object.
         The problem with releasing teacher ratings is that, at least in ELA, the worst kind of teaching makes test scores increase. One teacher at my school, for example, only teaches test prep. Everything students read is a 1.5-2 page uplifting historical biography of a female or racial minority who invents something or explores somewhere and demonstrates incredible pluck and anachronistic open-mindedness. Every writing assignment is a short paragraph response to these biographies that restates the question and includes at least three supporting details. The kids, of course, hate the class and are learning to hate reading and writing. But I'm sure this guy's rating will be high. Other teachers in my school teach novels and assign research essays and writing poetry as homework; one of the very best (I observed his class when student teaching so I know first-hand that he's amazing) has a rating in the lowest quarter.
       I am willing to believe the math ratings are meaningful (at least in the last few years, after they moved the tests from January to April), but the ELA ones are a complete joke.  If I had a child in the system, I would look for a teacher with a very low "effectiveness."

      Personal note: I taught English for only one year, 4 years ago, so my test-teaching rating exists but will not be released. I am told that in a few years my chess teaching be evaluated using a similar 60% classroom observation / 40% value added model, with ratings instead of test scores used to determine what "value" I am "adding" to my students. This is welcome news, since ratings are a legitimate assessment tool.
      I would add that I'm not super liberal about education: I am absolutely against tenure and think firing bad teachers should be much easier. I think measuring teacher effectiveness is extremely important. I loved standardized tests as a student and did very well on them. But the state ELA tests are not good assessments and the grading of the subjective portions of them is ridiculous: inconsistent, unreviewable, unappealable and completely opaque.


Anonymous said...

Your a great teacher

Tony Cortizas, Jr. said...

Interesting post.

I once saw Mayor Bloomberg interviewed about education, and he said that teacher tenure and seniority should not be available in a K-12 public school system. I agree: they are contrary to a merit-based profession.

Anonymous said...

Keep in my mind that value added does not simply look at increases in rating looks at the expected increase. do you think you will fare? What would be the expected rating increasevfor a student who has chess5 times a week?

Elizabeth Vicary said...

For a student who has me in class 5 days a week, comes to afterschool 2 days a week, and comes to 75% of Saturday tournaments, assuming an incoming ability of somewhere between total beginner and "played in elementary school but never in a tournaments"...

I would say my current average is something like 1100 by the end of 6th grade, 1400 by the end of 7th and 1500 by the end of 8th.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

My Data Report:

1. Justus Williams 2316
2. James Black 2311
3. Isaac Barayev 2124
4. Kenneth Martin 1846
5. Matthew Kluska 1764
6. Brian Arthur 1748
7. Kevin Marin 1747
8. Markus Pond 1738
9. Carlos Tapia 1678
10. Maya McGreen 1673
11. Alex Bradford 1664
12. Tristan Dalhouse 1653
13. Mr. Galvin 1649
14. Mubassar Uddin 1621
15. Yuxin Zhao 1608
16. Avery Jonas 1595
17. Raphael Clifton 1591
18. Vaughn Soso 1583
19. Jorge Quiroz 1550
20. Mariah McGreen 1567
21. Jack Wen 1548
22. Kamil Chmielewski 1540
23. Otto Schatz 1514
24. Rashawn Baldwin 1508
25. Tommy Zhang 1479
26. Anita Maksimiuk 1487
27. Shanniah Wright 1476
28. Anthony Asseviro 1466
29. Kevin Dominguez 1416
30. Ariel Peguero 1415
31. Keith Leary 1391
32. Zion McKenzie 1380
33. Earl Chase 1371
34. Sebastian Garcia 1352
35. Haby Diallo 1350
36. Nicholas Amatulli 1319
37. Christopher Rush 1310
38. Edmond Ntango 1299
39. Teraab Feaster 1292
40. Isaiah Lewis 1248
41. Jacob Barayev 1247
42. Mr. Murnieks 1222
43. Humzh Alborati 1221
44. Austin Tang 1205
45. Ashe Collier 1190
46. Patryk Kwoczak 1189
47. Stefek Yurgel 1161
48. Vincente Gomez 1150
49. William Yu 1146
50. William Lawrence 1139
51. Sebastian Wisnewski 1117
52. Jamye Moya 1115
53. Richard Bennett 1113
54. David Ding 1101
55. Cedric Brown 1096
56. Jiayu Tang 1091
57. Edeli Cuate 1045
58. Krystian Psujek 989
59. Adam Dabrowski 971
60. Justin Bannister 971
61. Summayah White 958
62. Zanea Seymour 951
63. Mikael Mongroo 950
64. Michael Yu 922
65. Jesus Alvarez 887
66. Humriah White 855
67. Brian Phipps 801
68. David Yuen 715
69. Justin Lewis 598
70. Jozef Mahoney 589
71. Vincent Dipetria 513
72. George Orellano 490
73. Brian Aguirre 490
74. William Abreu 464
75. David Tsoi 335
76. Amyas Ryan 334

Anonymous said...

I detest objective tests but also tended to do quite well, or better at them than other tests.

I believe they are atrociously horrible for students (spit back what the book or I said verbatim). The one positive may be that those types of tests somehow keep many teachers on track, or from getting overly lazy in the absence of such testing (but that is not saying much - lock-step-testing education is probably close to being worthless unless it's about how to fix a car, IMHO).

linuxguy said...

The above post was mine.

Also, I don't have a problem with tenure. Experienced teachers are sometimes bad at getting classes to pass tests, but are many times good at imparting knowledge.

Last thing I want is for the inmates to be running the asylum. My biggest beef is with administrators who think students should always be taking math and not chess. :-) I would prefer students get to choose curriculum rather than get to choose teachers.

Anonymous said...

Dear Elizabeth, my students are required to take a full ELA test after being in the country (educational system) for one school year, meaning that if they entered school in May 2012, by next school year they will be tested! Imagine what my ratings will be! But, I'm sure that when you received them from our school to join the Chess Team and moved to the 1500's rating, language was not issue! Bloomberg has been taking Spanish for many years, and when he talks it makes me puke! Try to show the same results with our students to him. You'll be fired. Enough of this scam! Teacher Evaluations are a way to fire indiscriminately anyone that makes a decent living and hire new teachers with no insurance, pension, or basic working rights!
DO NOT BELIEVE THE CONTRARY, because you'll also be unemployed!
Mr. Brea

Anonymous said...

I thought Galvin is not "your student"!