Tag Archives: teacher evaluation

Classroom Closers?

After spending yesterday afternoon watching my beloved Boston Red Sox blow another game in the ninth inning, I was reminded of a simple fact: some losses are more emotionally significant than others.

As my disappointment threatened to disrupt the rest of my Memorial Day – we were so close! – I realized there’s a good argument to be made that the one statistic in the data-obsessed world of professional baseball most likely to at least partially reflect the collective confidence of a team is the one the Sox’s shaky new closer, Alfredo Aceves, failed to earn for his team yesterday: the save.

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Bill Gates — Close, But Not Quite, on Teacher Evaluations

There’s an Op-Ed in today’s New York Times in which Joe Nocera discusses the Gates Foundation’s ambitious new efforts to crack the code of teacher assessment and evaluation, a valid goal is ever there was one. Piloting a new system in four districts — and providing local leaders with tens of millions of dollars to implement it — the Gates team seems to have recognized the limited value of test scores; in these communities, they comprise only a small part of a teacher’s evaluation scorecard.

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When did teacher bashing become the new national pastime?

With spring training under way, fantasy baseball owners across the country are hard at work readying their draft boards and preparing to select their championship rosters. As they do, I have a modest proposal to make that will simplify the whole process: Let’s stop getting weighed down by multiple data points, and start looking at […]

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NYC Teacher Data Reports: A Good or a Bad Idea?

This morning, I appeared on CNN to debate whether the recent release of data linking individual NYC public school teachers to the test scores of their students was a good or a bad idea. On Tuesday, cnn.com will run an accompanying article in which I provide a little more context for my opinion, and suggest […]

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E Pluribus Pluribus: Is Differentiated Instruction Possible?

It’s not even Noon, and nine-year-old Harvey is already back on the floor.

His three tablemates, their efforts at independent reading on hold, watch and wait for Ms. Serber to arrive and restore order. Harvey’s pear-shaped body writhes on the floor, animated by neither malice nor mischief. He chews absent-mindedly on his silver necklace and gazes at the ceiling until she arrives.

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Questions for the Next Schools Chancellor

Today, presumptive-next-mayor Vincent Gray will meet with presumptive-ex- chancellor Michelle Rhee to discuss the future of DC public schools.

In a way, this is a lose-lose meeting for both. As Rhee has made clear in her typically tin-eared style, she is skeptical Gray shares her commitment to a particular set of reforms. Meanwhile, Gray’s ultimate decision about Rhee is guaranteed to disappoint a significant percentage of his electorate – either those who voted for him to register their disapproval of Fenty’s and Rhee’s style of leadership, or those who voted against him to see her reign continue.

This puts Mr. Gray in a bit of a pickle, but he might as well use the opportunity to think about the essential questions he would want to ask any potential candidate to be the next Schools Chancellor. Here are five he might want to consider:

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Is It Really All About the Benjamins?

As both a former teacher and a MBA, I’m struck these days by two things: first, the ubiquity of “business thinking” in today’s education reform strategies; and second, the complete absence of the sort of business thinking we actually need to be heeding. Keep reading here . . .

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