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In 2009, just as teacher evaluation became a federal policy focus, the District of Columbia Public Schools launched its new teacher evaluation system. The IMPACT system exemplifies the use of “multiple measures” of teacher performance as a basis for personnel decisions such as teacher compensation and dismissal. A new study by Thomas Dee and James Wyckoff asserts that some of IMPACT’s “carrots Continue Reading »
Chad Aldeman’s most recent blog raises some fundamental issues about what we mean by accountability. Do we compare schools against some established academic standards or do we compare them against each other? Is academic proficiency absolute or relative?
While I have reservations about our current testing regime, I have to say that grading on the curve may make sense for courses that areContinue Reading »
Way back in March of 2010, President Obama released his blueprint for reauthorizing the education law that’s commonly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In it, he called for changing the way schools are identified for improvement from the criteria-referenced system that NCLB uses, where states set an objective “proficiency” benchmark and hold accountable all schools that fail to meet it, to Continue Reading »
Culture for graduation. Students at the University of Washington will be required to take a course in diversity in order to meet the school’s graduation requirements. The course can be in social, political, or economic diversity, and the requirement will take effect this fall. (Oregon Live)
Attending school electronically. Lexi Kinder was diagnosed with a heart disease that prevented herContinue Reading »
You owe it to the Chinese. Stephen Colbert gives the 2013 Valedictory Address at the University of Virginia and tells students they don’t owe the previous generation anything and to choose the hard path in life. “While traditional paths may seem harder to find, that also means that you may learn sooner than most generations the hard lesson that you must always make the path for yourself.” (YouTContinue Reading »
Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the Obama administration’s first 10 approvals of comprehensive NCLB waivers.* The Senate HELP Committee marked the anniversary with a hearing today on early lessons from the waivers, but one thing that deserves more attention is the process behind the waiver initiative. Congress should learn from that process—where the federal government outlines criteContinue Reading »
Yesterday, the ShankerBlog posted a piece by Doug Harris proposing that states and districts incorporate student growth into teacher and principal evaluations through an initial “screening” process under which ineffective teachers could be initially identified for further examination and support. Sherman Dorn is right to call this a common-sense idea, albeit with some kinks to work out. But whaContinue Reading »
The fallout from last week’s news that Washington and Wisconsin can join 24 other states with flexibility from NCLB has centered on the New York Times’ front-page coverage and whether ESEA waivers represent A) sensible relief to states from an impossible task or B) an all-out retreat from school accountability, particularly for disadvantaged and underserved students.
State education offiContinue Reading »
UPDATED JULY 6
Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced five more waiver winning states – Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah, and Virginia - bringing the total number of states operating their own school accountability systems in lieu of NCLB to twenty four.
With nearly half of states on the waiver train, it’s a good time to pause and take stock ofContinue Reading »
“Hurry, please. We have so much time and so little to see. Wait a minute! Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.”
No doubt, many state and local educators know exactly how Mr. Wonka felt. Motivated by NCLB’s impending 100% proficiency deadline, adoption of the Common Core, and federal initiatives like Race to the Top and ESEA waivers, states and school districts are embarking on a multi-proContinue Reading »