Secretary Arne Duncan spoke today about educator effectiveness at the annual NEA conference. He discussed, among other things, the important link between student achievement and teacher effectiveness. He said:
“Let’s talk about data. I understand that word can make people nervous but I see data first and foremost as a barometer. It tells us what is happening. Used properly, it can help teachers better understand the needs of their students. Too often, teachers don’t have good data to inform instruction and help raise student achievement.
“Data can also help identify and support teachers who are struggling. And it can help evaluate them. The problem is that some states prohibit linking student achievement and teacher effectiveness.
“I understand that tests are far from perfect and that it is unfair to reduce the complex, nuanced work of teaching to a simple multiple choice exam. Test scores alone should never drive evaluation, compensation or tenure decisions. That would never make sense. But to remove student achievement entirely from evaluation is illogical and indefensible.
See his full remarks. Tell us what you think:
Should students’ test scores be considered when evaluating teachers?