Effective Education Needs Effective Evaluation

EEP & Signatory News
EEP signatory Eric Hanushek writes in Education Next that “there has been little movement toward a more thorough evaluation system that incorporates broader measurement of teacher effectiveness,” and urges districts and teachers to work together to improve evaluation systems in general.

The Huffington Post reports that President Obama called upon all Americans to recognize November 14-20 as American Education Week, a time to renew the nation’s focus on providing a quality education to all children.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will join the National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel in celebrating teachers during American Education Week. They will visit Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md., on Thursday, Nov. 18, to meet with teachers and congratulate them on their hard work, as well as tour several classrooms and hold a media availability.
A new Brookings Institute report explains the importance of value-added teacher evaluations, and their role in education reform.  “We have a lot to learn about how to improve the reliability of value-added and other sources of information on teacher effectiveness, as well as how to build useful personnel policies around such information.  However, too much of the debate about value-added assessment of teacher effectiveness has proceeded without consideration of the alternatives and by conflating objectionable personnel policies with value-added information itself.”
The Center on Reinventing Public Education released a report titled, “You’re Leaving? Sustainability and Succession in Charter Schools,” which tackles the issue of long-term success of the charter schools. A survey conducted for the report reveals that, out of 400 charter school leader respondents, 71% expect to leave their schools within five years.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that school districts across the country are struggling to find effective ways to evaluate teacher performance.
A new study published in Education Next looks at the impact of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC), which allows low-income children to receive scholarships to attend private schools, on public schools nearby.  Check out this podcast by Ed Next editor and EEP signatory Marty West.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan named six members of the National Assessment Governing Board today. These leaders, representing fields ranging from education to business to policymaking, will serve four-year terms for the Governing Board, which works with the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as The Nation’s Report Card.
Sarah Butrymowicz, staff writer at The Hechinger Report, looks at the future of education reform after the departure of DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee (EEP board member) and NYC Chancellor Joel Klein (EEP co-chair) in an article in the Huffington Post.
EdWeek reports that Representative John Kline (R-Minn.)expects to take over leadership of the House Education and Labor Committee when Congress reconvenes. “Kline said it’s time to pull Washington out of the nation’s classrooms and stop using billions in federal dollars to bail out state education budgets.”
The Associated Press reports that 8 states are beginning a national pilot program to transform teacher education and preparation to emphasize far more infield, intensive training as is common practice in medical schools.  The states are: California, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and New York. The states agreed to implement the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning created by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.  (Rick Hess offers his opinion on the report here)

From the States
The Quick and the Ed reports that California has just taken the first step toward protecting teachers in turnaround schools from seniority-based layoffs, instead subjecting all teachers to measures of teacher effectiveness to determine layoffs.

The Times Free Press reports that Georgia is joining a national movement toward less school testing after years of multiple standardized exams, particularly in high school.

Catalyst Chicago reports that Terry Mazany has been selected as Interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools, replacing Ron Huberman, who recently resigned from his post. “Mazany, who serves on the board of directors for the Renaissance Schools Fund, said he will continue the work of opening new charters.”
A small article in the Chicago Sun-Times gives a little insight into they types of education policies former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel might implement as mayor of Chicago.  “Emanuel wants to empower parents by handing them a report card . . . as well as a legal “trigger” (way) to force change at their child’s school.” (Is it us or is the parent trigger EVERYWHERE these days?!)

New York
The appointing of Cathie Black as NYC schools chancellor is creating quite a stir in the Big Apple and across the country.  The New York Times reports that last night’s Panel for Educational Policy focused almost solely on whether the panel should play a role in vetting the mayor’s pick for chancellor.
Feminist movement icon Gloria Stienem has come out in support of her former colleague from Ms. Magazine (via GothamSchools). “In short, she has a hard path to an impossible job — which is exactly why she’ll succeed. I support her because I know New Yorkers — especially students — will be very glad she’s there.”
A NYC Department of Education press release announces that former New York City Mayors Edward I. Koch, David N. Dinkins, and Rudy Giuliani have announced their support for Cathie Black to serve as the next schools Chancellor. Cathie Black defends her own abilities on NY1 (great video summary on their website), saying “the mayor’s been very clear that he really wanted a strong, effective manager, and I have almost 40 years of experience at that.”  The New York Observer supports (EEP signatory) Mayor Bloomberg’s decision, saying: “Mayor Bloomberg has made education reform his signature issue. Mr. Klein turned the mayor’s promises into reality. Ms. Black figures to build on Mr. Klein’s impressive legacy not by simply getting along, but by asking tough questions and demanding accountability.”

Education Sector reports on Texas’s approach to tackling the “data problem” in the state, focusing on the test run of a new system in Lubbock Independent School District.  The Lone Star state is currently “data-rich but information poor,” lacking useful instructional information for teachers and administrators to improve their schools and districts.  “If successful, the new [data] system will not only reduce costs and streamline the existing accountability process, but will also equip educators with relevant information they can use to help their students.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that San Antonio Young Women’s Leadership Academy, an all-girls public school, is offering a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum will aim to serve students from low-income households when it opens next year in Houston.

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Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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