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Maps: Use Of Student Data Not Really As Widespread As This

This Newsday story (State teacher evaluation plans) and map of states using or not using student performance data is interesting but misleading in that it lumps together states that are using or "planning" to use student data (dark blue), and treats states where they're considering using student data (light blue) differently from those who've decided against it (red). 

Picture 14

I'm planning on giving up bagels and cream cheese, but that's no real guarantee I'll do it. I'm considering going to Spain sometime soon, but again...who knows? The overall effect is to make it seem like there's a lot more actually going on than I think there is.  via @karawebley

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I'm glad California is light blue here. How this is done is really critical, and too many states have shown too crude an approach to using testing data in their planning to date. And it's really vital that teachers be included in the process of deciding what they will be evaluated on, since different teachers are at different states in their careers and may choose to focus on developing different teaching strengths, those which are most relevant to each teacher's current teaching situation. We need to bolster modern teachers' movements, like NewTLA, in taking the lead in helping to revitalize the teaching profession, perhaps through the Obama administration's new RESPECT initiative. Respect is what the teachers at Locke High School wanted, and I think it's still something we're looking for.

This is a good one Alexander. Thanks.
The bigger problem with the map is that it doesn't do anything to talk about what kind of data and for what purpose. Essentially the entire debate is boiled down to "for high stakes testing" and "against high stakes testing". This frame sells teachers short, misinforms the public and gets us away from what achievements (skills and knowledge acquisition) we agree that all American students should reach. The map, like the entire conversation, is less useful and less compelling than whether or not Alexander will stop eating bagels (can't urge you to keep that habit enough, especially in NYC).
If only more of us took the time to actually talk to classroom teachers and educate ourselves about what they need to inform the work they and their students do. Here's a link to a recent piece in the Albany paper by a teacher who's actually working in a classroom http://tinyurl.com/88z6hw3 and the teacher evaluation ideas he and his peers put together http://tinyurl.com/78kk4pw. Let's map out how many states are moving in this direction. Over a bagel, with chive cream cheese.

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