Jay Mathews has been a strong supporter of using test scores for teacher evaluation.

No longer.

He describes his change of view here.

Jay writes:

“I used to think student test score gains were a good way to rate teachers. I don’t think that any more. Grading individual teachers with scores is too approximate, too erratic and too destructive of the team spirit that makes great schools. Rating schools, rather than teachers, by test score gains is better, at least until we find a way to measure deeper indicators of learning.”

And more.

“We would be better off rating teachers the old-fashioned way. Let principals do it in the normal course of watching and working with their staff.”

But here is where I disagree with him, when he would make every principal an autocrat:

“But be much more careful than we have been in the past about who gets to be principal, and provide much more training. Give them the power to hire, compensate and fire staff members as they see fit. If student achievement lags, the principals should be in the hot seat. Give them warnings. Give them help. But if the school doesn’t improve, remove them.”

What is the evidence that schools soar when teachers have no right to a hearing? I don’t know of any.