New D.C. Teacher Ratings Stress Better Test Scores
By Bill Turque
D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has launched a rigorous evaluation system that will make some District teachers among the first in the nation to have their job security tied to standardized test scores.
The effort to hold teachers accountable for student progress, which began last week, is a cornerstone of Rhee's agenda and a goal for education reformers nationwide. They contend that the best way to improve schools is to continuously monitor and improve teacher performance. The "value added" -- what instructors contribute to student growth on tests -- is a more meaningful indicator of progress than the absolute numerical targets in the federal No Child Left Behind law, advocates say.
"Academic progress must be measured by growth," Rhee said. "By using value-added analysis we will finally be able to consistently reward and recognize the significant contributions of every adult in a school building."
Rhee is investing $4 million in the system, called IMPACT, which will also assess teachers against an elaborate new framework of requirements and guidelines that cover a range of factors, including classroom presence and how carefully they check for student understanding of the material.
Teacher Evaluations Based On Student Scores: It's Official
It's now official: Teachers will be evaluated based on the scores of their students (in D.C.... for now). Congratulations, America!