Friday, February 24, 2012
Why you should not believe a word in the teacher data reports, due to be released today
The DOE is due to release the inaccurate and unreliable teacher data reports today, based solely on standardized test scores from 2010 state exams known to be invalid; with the names of 3-8th grade individual teachers attached. All the major newspapers are likely to post these false and defamatory reports as soon as tomorrow . I suggest you refrain from looking up your child’s teacher, but if you do, you should NOT believe ANYTHING the report says.
Check out my interview on WPIX - TV news yesterday where I explain the huge margin of error in these reports and more. There is not another profession, whether in the public or the private sector, where the media has ever publicized this confidential stuff, whether accurate or not – and the reporters are all very aware of how inaccurate these reports are. This is just one more attempt by the Mayor to scapegoat teachers & blame all his own failures on them.
For more back up, see this great and succinct piece on InsideSchools about why no parent should believe the TDR’s, by Meredith Kolodner, formerly of the Daily News: GothamSchools has a longer piece about this here.
Neither InsideSchools nor GothamSchools will post the ratings because they are so unreliable, and clearly not NEWS from any point of view. I think we should all thank them by sending a donation; here are the links. I just did!
Finally Karen Fine, teacher and Class Size Matters supporter, has a good quote in today’s NY Times:Karen Fine, a third-grade teacher at Public School 134 in Manhattan who previously taught fifth grade, said she and her colleagues believed that the ratings were an unfair and inaccurate measure of a teacher’s performance because they used an unreliable methodology that had been criticized by many respected researchers and statisticians, and because they did not account for factors that could affect students on the day of testing, like being tired, nervous, or scared.
“For many of us who teach in N.Y.C., this has been our life’s calling,” she said. “We are constantly attacked on so many levels for what ails education in our country when we know that it takes a community to help children learn: principals, administrators, parents, lawmakers, and yes, teachers. The responsibility cannot lie solely on us.”
I am posting the quote but NOT the link, as I think we should all boycott the NYTimes for as long as possible.