On the agenda from 1-2 PM, is a panel of "National experts in the field on education, economics and psychometrics." The invitees include:
- Thomas Kane, an economist from Harvard University who strongly supports test-based teacher evaluation and led the Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching study;
- Catherine Brown, VP of the Center for American Progress, which has published papers endorsing the use of value-added and has received more than $5 million from the Gates Foundation for its education work. Brown is also married to Robert Gordon, formerly of NYC DOE, OMB and the US Dept of Education, who pushed test-based teacher evaluation in NYC and throughout the country.
- Sandi Jacobs, a vice president at the National Council on Teacher Quality which also strongly supports test-based teacher evaluation and has gotten more than $12 million from the Gates Foundation;
- Leslie Guggenheim of TNTP, an advocacy organization whose 2009 paper “The Widget Effect” promoted test-based teacher evaluation and has gotten more than $33 million from the Gates Foundation.
So here we have three representatives from inside-the-Beltway advocacy groups that collectively received more than $50 million to make the case for test-based teacher evaluation and one professor who led the $45 million MET project for Gates, vs three independent academic scholars.
Also speaking at 4 PM is a parent panel selected by the NYS PTA, including a representative from NY State Allies for Public Education, a coalition of more than 50 parent and advocacy groups statewide (full disclosure: including Class Size Matters.) NYSAPE has helped lead the anti-testing movement that garnered at least 200,000 students opting out this spring. Also on that panel, strangely enough, is Matt Barnum, the policy director of Educators for Excellence, which has received $4 million from the Gates Foundation.
Who to believe? You be the judge.