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Texas lawmakers shy about linking teacher evaluations to student’s state test scores

May 7, 2013 by

AUSTIN, Texas – The teacher union strategy of demonizing standardized tests is apparently having its desired effect, at least in one state.

Many Texas residents – egged on by union propaganda – have been complaining about all the state tests their children have to take, and it’s causing their elected lawmakers to back down from plans to link teacher job ratings to student achievement.

 

That’s exactly what the unions have been hoping for. They don’t want increased scrutiny of their members’ ability to teach, and by turning the public against state tests they’re achieving their goal.


Under Texas’ current teacher evaluation system, educators’ classroom performance is based on a single, 45-minute observation by the school principal. Under that approach, less than 3 percent of Lone Star State teachers are ever identified as less than “proficient,” reports Education News.

 

Obviously, the system has little value in helping school officials ensure that their classrooms are being led by the best, most effective teachers available.

 

It’s a problem many states are grappling with, said Sandi Jacobs, state policy director of the National Council on Teacher Quality.

 

“Our teacher evaluation systems have not been very successful,” Jacobs told Education News. “We haven’t had good information to identify our superstars or our chronic underperformers.”

 

About two dozen states have begun incorporating test scores in teacher evaluations – though it’s too early to determine which plans are the best and most fair.

 

But it doesn’t appear that Texas will join that list anytime soon.

 

The anti-testing sentiment has given rise to a proposal in the state legislature that “would reduce the number of exams students must take in high school to five from the current 15,” reports Education News.

 

And there appears to be little sentiment to create more effective teacher evaluations by considering student scores from those tests.

 

While test fatigue may be understandable, the state’s teaching corps will only be improved when an educator’s evaluation is linked to something concrete and objective. Are the students learning or not? Without using test scores, how do you measure that?

 

There’s got to be some middle ground between basing teachers’ job reviews on a single, 45-minute observation and inundating students with a slew of standardized tests, year after year.

 

Hopefully, Texas lawmakers will search out that middle ground, because leaving ineffective teachers in the classroom can ruin a child’s education far more than an annoying standardized test ever will.

They should not let the unions win this crucial battle. The stakes are too high

Texas lawmakers shy about linking teacher evaluations to student’s state test scores – EAGnews.org :: Education Research, Reporting, Analysis and Commentary.

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