"Teacher accountability" is one of the central themes of President Obama’s new vision for the post-No Child Left Behind era, and that two-word term, unfortunately, has come to mean something it shouldn’t.
Today in the world of education the phrase has come to mean how well a teacher’s students perform on standardized tests. If the students do well, the teacher is considered excellent. If the students haven’t done well, the teacher is not excellent.
Here are just a few of the problems with this scheme:
If we had a test, standardized or not, that really was a complete measure of a teacher’s performance -- or a student’s, for that matter -- it would be hard to argue against its use.
But let’s be clear: We don’t. Our standardized tests are rudimentary assessments, still. They are nowhere near sophisticated enough -- if indeed any single test can be -- to be used as a real measure of performance.
Teacher Accountability: What Should It Mean?
From Valerie Strauss: