Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stepford Educators and Poor Education

WatchDogWire - Michigan via Instapundit

Every teacher and principal in the Hazel Park School District’s four elementary schools, junior high and high school were given “highly effective” ratings in 2011-12 by administrators despite district-wide failing grades for student achievement. 
The state of Michigan gave Hazel Park High School an “F” for student achievement in 2011-12 in all four of the measured subjects — reading, science, social studies and math. Yet every teacher was given the highest rating in the new state-mandated evaluation of teachers. 
A state law in 2011 ordered schools to rate teachers and administrators by using one of four ratings: highly effective, effective, minimally effective and ineffective. 
Every teacher and principal in the Hazel Park district received the highest evaluation despite student achievement getting an “F” from the state in 10 of the 16 measured categories in the four elementary schools and in the junior high and high schools.
How in the world can a school district and as state reconcile that.  I know that assessments of teachers are a sensitive subject, filled with conflicts over the role of test scores, subjective assessments by principals, the role of various credentials, etc.  I also know that even assessments of schools are notoriously squishy if not based on some nationally recognized test like NEAP.  
But really, how in the world does this happen? "Across the state, 97 percent of the estimated 95,000 teachers were rated 'effective' or 'highly effective.'" 
It seems a statistical impossibility.  I know we want to hold teachers in high esteem, but we do not live in a Stepford world.  

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