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Test-Based Teacher Evaluations: A Policy Analysis

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Chloe Bolyard

on 5 February 2015

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Transcript of Test-Based Teacher Evaluations: A Policy Analysis

Test-Based Teacher Evaluations: A Policy Analysis
by Chloe Bolyard

Historical Background
Political Context
A Nation at Risk
7 recommendations to improve teaching or the profession
20 states enacted evaluation policies and 38 modified evaluation practices

No Child Left Behind (2002):
Increased accountability and highly qualified teachers
AYP pressures to improve student achievement (improve teaching--> improve learning)
Policymakers target teacher evaluations (NGA)
Problem Definition
Flaws with teacher evaluation
What constitutes excellence? (Piro, Wiemers, & Shutt, 2011)
Misleading (Frank, 2011)
Eval.s do not remove ineffective teachers or improve teaching (Frank, 2011; Milanowski, 2004; Piro et al., 2011)
Inconsistent ratings (Frank, 2011)
Standards-Based Evals
Policy Definition and Objectives
Connection between teaching and student achievement
States enacting laws that require student achievement to be included in teacher evaluations
Business Conservatives
New Democrats

Arne Duncan and Federal government
Governors (Baker, Oluwole, & Green, 2013; Goldrick, 2002)
Building administrators
Policy Implementation
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)--> Race to the Top
Criterion D: Great Teachers and Leaders
Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project
States tailored teacher evaluation to include evidence of student performance (Baker, Oluwole, & Green, 2013)
Value-Orientation of Decision-Makers & Competing Values
Obama Administration & Gates/Buffett
efficiency, productivity, and competition
Civil rights groups
distribute funds on the basis of need!
Power Issues & Leadership Strategies
Economic dominance (Fowler, 2013)
Incentives & Punishments (Ravitch, 2010)
Formal & Informal Agendas
Arne Duncan (2009), America's challenge is to "make sure every child in American is learning from an effective teacher--no matter what it takes" (p. 5)
Corporate interests (Giroux & Saltman, 2009)
Intended Outcomes
Duncan (2009) data usage to improve teaching
Teachers in Houston did not receive training to understand data (Amrein-Beardsley & Collins, 2012)
Unintended Outcomes
HISD Case Study
Unethical behavior (Ravitch, 2010)
Narrowed curriculum and teaching to the test (Berryhill, Linney, & Fromewick, 2009; Ravitch, 2010)
Lower teacher morale and burnout (Berryhill et al., 2009)
Atmosphere of fear and anxiety (Amrein-Beardsley & Collins, 2012; Marshall, 2012; Ravitch, 2010)
Published test scores (Ravitch, 2010)
Litigation (Amrein-Beardsley & Collins, 2012; Marshall, 2012)
Avoiding certain students (Amrein-Beardsley & Collins, 2012; Ravitch, 2010)
Did the policy do what it set out to do?
We don't know yet (Di Carlo, 2012)

Other Implications of the Policy
Validity (Amrein-Beardsley & Collins, 2012; Di Carlo, 2012; Ravitch, 2010)
Reliability and Prone to Error (Amrein-Beardsley & Collins, 2012; Di Carlo, 2012; Piro et al., 2011)
20% tested (Marshall, 2012)
Advantages & Disadvantages of Value-Added Models (VAMS) (Amrein-Beardsley & Collins, 2012; Frank, 2011)
Conclusion: What can educational leaders do about it?

Build evaluations locally (Marshall, 2012)
Avoid high-weights for VAMs; pay attention to all components of evaluation; don't ignore error (Di Carlo, 2012)
Data as part of a portfolio of evidence (Ravitch, 2010)

Amrein-Beardsley, A. & Collins, C. (2012). The SAS education value-added assessment system (SAS ® EVAAS ®) in the Houston Independent School District (HISD): Intended and unintended consequences. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 20 (12).
Baker, B., Oluwole, J., & Green, P. (2013). The legal consequences of mandating high stakes decisions based on low quality information: Teacher evaluation in the Race-to-the-Top era. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 21 (5). Retrieved October 28, 2013, from http://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/view/1298.
Berryhll, J., Linney, J., & Fromewick, J. (2009). The effects of education accountability on teachers: Are policies too-stress provoking for their own good? International Journal of Education Policy & Leadership, 4 (5).
Danielson, C. (1996). Enhancing professional practice: A framework for teaching. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Darling-Hammond, L. (2010). The flat world of education: How America’s commitment to equity will determine our future. New York: Teacher’s College Press.
Duncan, Arne. (2009, July 2). Partners in reform: Address by the Secretary of Education to the National Education Association. U.S. Department of Education Press Release. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/news/speeches/2009/07/07022009.pdf.
Fowler, F. C. (2013). Policy studies for educational leaders: An introduction (4th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ
Frank, V. V. (2011). Measurement makeover: Florida district revamps teacher evaluation to focus on student achievement. Journal of Staff Development, 32 (6), 32-39.
Furtwengler, C. B. (1995). State actions for personnel evaluation: Analysis of reform policies, 1983-1992. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 3 (4), 1-27. Retrieved October 14, 2013, from epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/download/647/76.

Goldrick, L. (2002). Improving teacher evaluation to improve teacher quality. Washington, DC: National Governors Association. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/pdf/1202IMPROVINGTEACHEVAL.pdf.
Hazi, H. M., & Arredondo Rucinski, D. (2009). Teacher evaluation as a policy target for improved student learning: A fifty-state review of statute and regulatory action since NCLB. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 17 (5). Retrieved October 7, 2013 from http://epaa.asu.eduepaa/v17n5/.
Measures of Effective Teaching Project. (2013, January). Ensuring fair and reliable measures of effective teaching: Culminating findings from the MET Project’s three-year study. Seattle, WA: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Retrieved on October 28, 2013, from http://www.metproject.org/downloads/MET_Ensuring_Fair_and_Reliable_Measures_Practitioner_Brief.pdf.
Measures of Effective Teaching Project. (2010, June). Working with teachers to develop fair and reliable measures of effective teaching. Seattle, WA: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Retrieved on October 28, 2013, from http://www.metproject.org/downloads/met-framing-paper.pdf.
Milanowski, A. (2004). The relationship between teacher performance evaluation scores and student achievement: Evidence from Cincinnati. Peabody Journal of Education, 79 (4), 33-53.
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (2011). About the Missouri Assessment Program. Retrieved from http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/assess/staff.html.
National Commission on Excellence in Education (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for education reform. Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Piro, J. W. (2011). Using student achievement data in teacher and principal evaluations: A policy study. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 6 (4).
Ravitch, D. (2010). The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. New York: Basic Books.
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