Value Added ratings

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Pyrrho
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Value Added ratings

Post by Pyrrho »

People just are not this easily quantified, much less K-12 students.

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ss ... alue-.html
Ohio is one of 32 states experimenting with more rigorous, data-driven systems of grading teachers. In Ohio's case, teachers earn one of five value-added ratings that are a key part of their overall "final grades." Those grades range from "Most Effective" at the top end of the scale to the "Least Effective" rating Plecnik received.

The rating is based on a statistical measure called "value-added."

...

What's riding on these grades varies depending on how school districts choose to use them. But more than a teacher's pride is at stake. The ratings could eventually become part of decisions about how much teachers are paid, what classes they teach and, if a district has to lay off teachers, their place on the list of who stays and who goes.

Many policymakers view this data-driven approach to sizing up teacher performance as crucial to weeding out bad teachers and rewarding good ones. But some teachers see the measure as a flawed attempt at quantifying something that isn't easily quantifiable.

...

With better measures of teacher quality in place, supporters say, the best teachers can be encouraged to continue teaching by offering them bigger raises, recognition and extra perks like more planning time. The worst teachers can be given intensive training. And if they don't improve, they can be encouraged to leave the teaching profession through the stigma of receiving low marks, or be fired.

Plus, value-added is relatively cheap and easy to put in place compared with other school improvement efforts like those that involve hiring additional staff.
But many teachers believe Ohio's value-added model is essentially unfair. They say it doesn't account for forces that are out of their control. They also echo a common complaint about standardized tests: that too much is riding on these exams.

"It's hard for me to think that my evaluation and possibly some day my pay could be in a 13-year-old's hands who might be falling asleep during the test or might have other things on their mind," said Zielke, the Columbus middle school teacher.

A StateImpact/Plain Dealer analysis of initial state data suggests that teachers with high value-added ratings are more likely to work in schools with fewer poor students: A top-rated teacher is almost twice as likely to work at a school where most students are not from low-income families as in a school where most students are from low-income families.
Plecnik is through. She's quitting her job at the end of this school year to go back to school and train to be a counselor -- in the community, not in schools.

Plecnik was already frustrated by the focus on testing, mandatory meetings and piles of paperwork. She developed medical problems from the stress of her job, she said. But receiving the news that despite her hard work and the praise of her students and peers the state thought she was Least Effective pushed her out the door.

"That's when I said I can't do it anymore," she said. "For my own sanity, I had to leave."
The newspaper helpfully provides a complete listing of teachers who have been rated over the past 2 years, in case anyone wants to look that up. I wonder how teachers feel about their evaluations being made public that way, even if their ratings are public records.

Modern solutions to education seem to involve an awful lot of beating teachers over the head with this sort of thing.

Start billing parents for every F Johnny gets and maybe that will result in improved grades. Hell, it's as good an idea as anything else that politicans dream up.

Oh, and
Some of the confusion may be due to a lack of transparency around the value-added model.

The details of how the scores are calculated aren't public. The Ohio Department of Education will pay a North Carolina-based company, SAS Institute Inc., $2.3 million this year to do value-added calculations for teachers and schools. The company has released some information on its value-added model but declined to release key details about how Ohio teachers' value-added scores are calculated.

The Education Department doesn't have a copy of the full model and data rules either.

The department's top research official, Matt Cohen, acknowledged that he can't explain the details of exactly how Ohio's value-added model works. He said that's not a problem.

"It's not important for me to be able to be the expert," he said. "I rely on the expertise of people who have been involved in the field."
Er, um, sorry, no, that really doesn't wash. A teacher who is being evaluated according to these statistical methods and rules should have the right to see the criteria by which they are judged.
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Rob Lister
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Re: Value Added ratings

Post by Rob Lister »

Given that it involves state funds, I'd think a FOIA request would suffice as to the criteria.
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ed
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Re: Value Added ratings

Post by ed »

What is the big deal with having basic requirements tested?
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Rob Lister
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Re: Value Added ratings

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ed wrote:What is the big deal with having basic requirements tested?
Nothing. What are they testing?
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Re: Value Added ratings

Post by ed »

Rob Lister wrote:
ed wrote:What is the big deal with having basic requirements tested?
Nothing. What are they testing?
Dunno. But the knee jerk to uniform testing among some people is that it results in "teaching to the test" or some other problem. Yet I see and hear of kids, particularly from the innercity, who cannot read and are anumeric. Seems teaching to a test of basic skills would be ok in that case. I have no idea what this thread is about, I just felt like posting. If Jason can do it, so can I.
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Rob Lister
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Re: Value Added ratings

Post by Rob Lister »

ed wrote:
Rob Lister wrote:
ed wrote:What is the big deal with having basic requirements tested?
Nothing. What are they testing?
Dunno.
And they refuse to say. Do you see a prob?
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Re: Value Added ratings

Post by Mentat »

ed wrote:What is the big deal with having basic requirements tested?
It's a hurricane of problems. Just central concern - testing - itself isn't an issue, it's the storm of things around it. Implementation, enforcement, the politics, etc. It's hard to understand the issues surrounding education if you aren't in it. You don't know what things like 'teaching to the test' means until you have to mentor somebody who's been programmed to BS a test. It's hard to teach somebody better, but it's easier to lower standards.
It's "pea-can", man.

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Pyrrho
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Re: Value Added ratings

Post by Pyrrho »

Rob Lister wrote:Given that it involves state funds, I'd think a FOIA request would suffice as to the criteria.
It would, but I wonder if the FOIA request could get that information from the private company that owns the algorithms and methodology.
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Rob Lister
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Re: Value Added ratings

Post by Rob Lister »

Pyrrho wrote:
Rob Lister wrote:Given that it involves state funds, I'd think a FOIA request would suffice as to the criteria.
It would, but I wonder if the FOIA request could get that information from the private company that owns the algorithms and methodology.
Interesting question. It is at least enough of a clusterfuck that courts would have to untangle it.
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Pyrrho
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Re: Value Added ratings

Post by Pyrrho »

There is correlation between "value added ratings" and income levels of student families:

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ss ... ngs_a.html
"Value-added is not influenced by socioeconomic status," said Matt Cohen, the chief research officer at the Ohio Department of Education. "That much is pretty clear."

But a Plain Dealer/StateImpact Ohio analysis of value-added and economic data for districts, teachers and schools shows a clear trend: While value-added does not rise with income or fall with poverty rates as much as it does with other academic measures, students -- and consequently teachers -- in richer schools still score better on value-added than those in poorer schools.
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Rob Lister
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Re: Value Added ratings

Post by Rob Lister »

I do not understand how the first and second paragraph can both be true. And that's after I read the supposed explanation. It looks like both sides are playing with the statistics in getting their lie just right.
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Pyrrho
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Re: Value Added ratings

Post by Pyrrho »

IMHO they're trying to quantify so that they have some recourse against the political patronage system local districts are moving toward.
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