Teachers and district close to an agreement?

It looks like the teachers and the district are close to an agreement. I hope it’s a good one!

In other news, the Washington Post has an article about a study that finds the evaluation method described in the SERVE proposal to be ineffective:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/teachers/new-study-blasts-popular-teach.html?wprss=answer-sheet

“Student standardized tests are not reliable indicators of how effective the teacher is in the classroom, not even with the addition of new ‘value added’ methods, according to a study released today. It calls on policymakers and educators to stop using test scores as a central factor in holding teachers accountable.”

I’m disappointed in the weaselly language of “as a central factor,” though. If they’re not reliable, they shouldn’t be used at all. Here’s why:

Suppose teacher Alice and teacher Bob have an evaluation that is dictated 10% by the results of their student tests. In all other measures, they come out even, but Alice’s student tests are better (or improve more in the course of the school year). She gets merit pay and Bob doesn’t. Is that fair? Layoffs happen, and Alice gets to keep her job and Bob gets laid off. Is that fair?

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