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Five Best Blogs: Pay No Attention to State & Local Races


ScreenHunter_02 Oct. 29 16.05
State and local races and initiatives matter much more media and blogs realize, says Fordham's Checker Finn ow.ly/eRtIc

NEA sending $1.4M to ID, $900K to MI (take that, StudentsFirst!), $500K to FL, and $250K to WA via @mikeantonnuci ow.ly/eRvOA

Described as silly and laughable by unions, Fordham report on unions is useful says Mike Antonucci  Intercepts ow.ly/eRvF3

California teachers rank 8th among most powerful state teachers unions, according to Washington DC think tank ow.ly/eRtZh

LA Times look at power and peril of value added rating for teachers in LA ow.ly/eRzOb

From Jay Mathews: Admissions 101: Obama-Romney guide to great college essays... bit.ly/Y92ham

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The value-added rating of teachers in L.A. involves little other than peril; any "power" is not apparent in the article. While we should strive to assess teachers' contributions to their students' success on high-quality examinations, those in use in Los Angeles are nothing of the kind, and the predictable backwash effect of teachers teaching in their own interests, rather than in those of the students, is readily apparent in that article's third paragraph from the bottom: "Hunsberger's colleague, English teacher Daniel Badiak, said his below-average scores last year have pushed him to 'teach to the test' more this year. Time for work on what his seventh-graders most need — basic lessons on where to put periods and question marks, for instance — is being eaten up by drilling on vocabulary that might appear on the state test, he said."

This is not assessment for learning; it's assessment for money.

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