Policymakers are mostly agreed that they can measure teacher quality by whether scores go up or down.

Research does not support this simplistic notion.

Mostly, researchers have found that teachers in affluent districts get bigger score gains on standardized tests than teachers who are in poor districts, who have many children who don’t read English or have special needs.

And there is what I think of as the cardinal rule: Tests should be used only for the purpose for which they were designed.

A test of fifth grade math tests whether students have learned fifth grade math, not whether their teacher is effective.

Matt Di Carlo here discusses a research study whose author suggests that there should be two different tests: one for students, another for teachers.

I have trouble visualizing what the teacher test would look like, or what it would measure that would be an accurate gauge of “teacher quality.”

But then I have grown increasingly weary of our public infatuation with standardized testing as the answer to our educational needs.