As many of you know already, value added measures are in place in our schools across the country. As defined by the Glossary of Education Reform, “Value-added measures, or growth measures, are used to estimate or quantify how much of a positive (or negative) effect individual teachers have on student learning during the course of a given school year. To produce the estimates, value-added measures typically use sophisticated statistical algorithms and standardized-test results, combined with other information about students, to determine a “value-added score” for a teacher. School administrators may then use the score, usually in combination with classroom observations and other information about a teacher, to make decisions about tenure, compensation, or employment.”
The standardized tests being referred to cover English/language arts and math, and reports the National Center for Teacher Quality, 42 states now evaluate all teachers at least in part on student test growth–and that includes countless teachers across the grades, including kindergarten, that don’t teach those subjects. That includes even teachers of such special areas as music, art, and phys. ed. It defies logic, but so does much of the Obama/Arne Duncan/Bill Gates reform movement.
Now comes word, however, that the bandwagon has apparently only gotten started. Reports Alexandria Neason, “Officials in Nevada are now considering how to hold support staff like school nurses and counselors responsible for student test results.”