In the midst of a story about a teacher who walked 150 miles to deliver a letter to Governor Cuomo, there was mention of a statement about the opt outs by the State Education Department.

Basically the SED said that the opt outs will not derail its determination to rate teachers based on test scores.

The State Education Department released a statement saying, “We are confident the Department will be able to generate a representative sample of students who took the test, generate valid scores for anyone who took the test, and calculate valid State-provided growth scores to be used in teacher evaluations.”

The SED did not say how it will generate valid ratings for teachers whose students opted out, especially in districts where the majority of students did so; nor did it say how it would generation valid ratings for the 70% teachers who don’t teach the tested subjects. Even if only 10% opted out, how will the SED know if they were high-scoring students or low-scoring students? The SED will succeed in making a process of dubious value even less valid. The SED is determined to do the wrong thing with or without adequate data.

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