A story in the Los Angeles Times says that the United Teachers of Los Angeles has agreed to permit test scores to be part of teachers’ evaluations.
This is in response to a lawsuit brought by EdVoice on behalf of anonymous parents. EdVoice is one of those organizations funded by the Broad Foundation, the Walton Foundation and other members of the billionaire boys’ club who will never leave teachers alone until they teach to the test.
I hope this is not true. As we have seen again and again, judging teachers by the test scores of their students is harmful to the quality of education as it places too much emphasis on testing. It incentives narrowing of the curriculum, teaching to the test, cheating, gaming the system, score inflation.
Even Eric Hanushek, the favorite economist of the VAM crowd, says that teachers account for only 7 1/2-15 percent of the variation in students’ test scores.
What about the 60 percent that is usually attributed to the influence of family, especially family income?
If Los Angeles goes down this path, it may well fire the wrong teachers (Houston fired one of its teachers of the year based on VAM data).
Surely there is a better, more constructive way to evaluate teachers than to rely on unstable and inaccurate measures.