Our reader Laura Chapman reviewed the regulations for teacher education issued by John King’s Department of Education today.

She writes:

“I downloaded the regulations. They are final, include some discussion of comments, but the parts that matter are concentrated in “definitions.” Here you go on the definition of “student growth.”

“Student growth: The change in student achievement between two or more points in time, using a student’s scores on the State’s assessments under section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA or other measures of student learning and performance, such as

“student results on pre-tests and end- of-course tests;

“objective performance-based assessments;

“student learning objectives;

“student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and

“other measures that are rigorous, comparable across schools, and consistent with State guidelines.

“Teacher evaluation measure: A teacher’s performance level based on an LEA’s teacher evaluation system that differentiates teachers on a regular basis using at least three performance levels and multiple valid measures in assessing teacher performance.

“For purposes of this definition, multiple valid measures must include data on

“student growth for all students (including English learners and students with disabilities) and

“other measures of professional practice (such as observations based on rigorous teacher performance standards, teacher portfolios, and student and parent surveys).

“There is no real difference between ESSA as interpreted by these regulations and the last iteration of regulations in NCLB.

“The persistent reference to student learning objectives (SLOs) and gains between pretests and same year end-of-course tests reflect a profound misunderstanding of teaching, learning, curriculum organization across and within a year, the difference between what may be explored but individuals and subgroups or the whole class and what may be treated as a matter of “mastery” (especially of easy to test content/skill-sets).

“The explicit and implicit assumptions about education are wrong from the get go. The process can be followed but it will mean more of the same invalid stack ratings that have prevailed since 2001.

“Student Learning Objectives–SLOs–are not valid. Recent research from the American Institutes of Research confirms that there is no evidence of gains in student achievement or basis for claims of validity for every grade and subject where those convoluted writing exercises are required.”