The Los Angeles Times printed a thoughtful editorial about the teachers’ strike and about evaluating teachers by student test scores.
These days it is unusual to find an editorial or opinion column asking whether the tests were designed to measure teacher quality. They were not. Frankly, the test publishers ought to be yelling bloody murder about the inappropriate use of the tests, but they are making so much money that it’s hard to hear their complaints or to expect them.
I wish more writers would look at the research about the inaccuracy and instability of value-added assessment. I wish they would think a bit about how this high-stakes testing invariably leads to teaching to the test, narrowing the curriculum, score inflation, and cheating.
The one thing it does not produce is good education. If it did, we would see it in all the best private schools. But not a single one of them uses value-added assessment or even standardized tests. That would insult the intelligence of their teachers.