Jay Matthews of the Washington Post reports today on national opposition to using growth models to evaluate teacher performance, i.e., measuring each student’s progress instead of using average improvement from year to year. One guess as to whom is voicing opposition.
I asked two National Education Association officials, Joel Packer, director of education policy and practice, and Bill Raabe, director of collective bargaining and member advocacy, why we couldn’t test students in September and May, calculate how much they improved and use that information in deciding whether to keep particular teachers and how much to pay them. Raabe said that would only work if the distribution of students in classes was randomized. I understood his point but did not see why good teachers couldn’t show some progress no matter what sort of students they have. Raabe and Packer sent me more quotes from experts who weren’t any clearer.