I read this article “by Bill Gates” with a growing sense of incredulity.
I kept hearing echoes of many things I and others have written since Gates decided to make teacher evaluation the biggest crisis in American education. In 2008, he dropped the small schools movement and determined that teachers are our biggest problem. If we had a better way to evaluate them, schools could fire the bad ones and have only good ones.
No one did more to push the idea that teachers should be judged by the test scores of their students. No one had more influence on Race to the Top.
Now he says that test scores are not the only way to identify great teachers. They might not even be the best way.
Now he is worried that there is a growing backlash against standardized testing and he says he gets it.
He even concedes that tying pay to test scores is offensive.
Let us take him at his word. Let us take yes for an answer.
Please, Fairtest, invite him to speak at your next event.
Now if the day comes that he admits that the search for the right metric to measure teacher quality was a waste of time; and if the day comes that he realizes that many great teachers work selflessly in schools with low test scores; if he can begin to focus on the conditions that affect both teaching and learning rather than the fruitless search for the perfect evaluation system; when that day comes, we will all celebrate the painful metamorphosis of Bill Gates.