I asked if Obama, Duncan know the impact of their teacher evaluation policies. This is their answer.

Reblogged from the Answer Sheet

A focus of the Obama administration’s education reform effort has been the remaking of teacher evaluation systems to include student standardized test scores. States that wanted to receive federal funding in President Obama’s $4.3 billion Race to the Top education funding contest had to commit to linking test scores to teacher evaluation, and the same was true for those states that wanted to receive a federal waiver from the most onerous parts of No Child Left Behind. Most states wound up passing laws linking scores to evaluation, even though assessment experts — including the American Statistical Association — have warned against the “value-added measurement” method being used to make that linkage.

[Statisticians slam popular teacher evaluation method]

This linking has had some unusual consequences. Because there are standardized tests only in math and English Language Arts are tested, policymakers determined to evaluate all teachers on the scores devised ways of getting around the problem. They did this by, for example, evaluating teachers on the average scores of all students in a school, or grouping subjects together as they appear to relate to math or English Language Arts and evaluating teachers on those scores. For example, an art teacher in New Yorkis assessed by his students’ standardized math scores. The result: teachers are assessed on the test scores of students they don’t have and/or subjects they don’t teach. Read more>>