Re: just curious
Really? Principals usually do not taunt or bully.
Sent from my iPhone
On Dec 4, 2010, at 1:38 PM, Bob DeBuhr <email@example.com> wrote:
Retired Elementary School Principal.
On Sat, Dec 4, 2010 at 10:20 AM, Sharon Schmidt
It seems like on this list most of us are teachers. Many parents.
researchers. Some journalists. Some writers. Some organizers.
What are you?
Substance editor: www.substancenews.net
Steinmetz high school teacher, adviser to Steinmetz Star:
Chicago Teachers Union Testing Committee, Chair: www.ctunet.com
Parent: Josh (public school kindergartner), Sam (Chicago public
Stepparent: Dan (in the college of engineering at UC Berkeley)
Sent: Sat, Dec 4, 2010 11:20 am
Subject: Re: [arn-l] Gates, ETS Press New Forms of Teacher Evaluation
Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation are guided by research that
teachers are the strongest in-school determiners of children's
much so that improving teaching quality could go a long way towards
achievement gap. To the degree that is true it makes good sense to
programs that promote improvements to the way we train teachers and
that we support and evaluate them.
And Gates is not unmindful of influences on children beyond
of the Gates Foundation in early learning shows that clearly. You
finding out where Gates/GF are really coming from and what they are
instead of spouting lame speculations.
From: Brian LeCloux <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Assessment Reform Network <email@example.com>
Sent: Sat, Dec 4, 2010 8:59 am
Subject: Re: [arn-l] Gates, ETS Press New Forms of Teacher Evaluation
"More than 9 out of 10 teachers get top marks, according to a
last year by the New Teacher Project, a nonprofit group focusing on
If the story is referring to The Widget Effect Report from 2009, the
Summary of the study doesn't say that 9 out 10 teachers get "top
The Executive Summary says that in the districts examined for the
a binary rating they use the terms "satisfactory" or
teachers. "Satisfactory" and "top" do not seem to be equivalent
are using an unusual thesaurus.
The authors of the report want to better differentiate the
so that the excellent ones, as they define them, can be rewarded.
And, the article talks about using video to study teacher
with a discussion of whether that is the best way to observe
remember when Peter Farruggio talked about making short videos to
student learning on this list? How about that, Mr. Gates? How
video to better reflect what students know and can do?
Some examples of student exhibitions have been shown on line during
Student Exhibition month in May.
Wouldn't it be great if Bill Gates could approach education reform
publicly advocating with his media presence for improvement in all
factors that affect teaching and learning inside the classroom?
be---and maybe this is just an appearance from the way the
frames their stories about his efforts---overemphasizing the teacher
while underemphasizing all of the other factors; a possible
attribution thinking error.
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2010 10:16:57 -0500
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; ARNemail@example.com;
Subject: [arn-l] Gates, ETS Press New Forms of Teacher Evaluation
Teacher Ratings Get New Look, Pushed by a Rich Watcher
By SAM DILLON
PRINCETON, N.J. â In most American schools, teachers are evaluat
principals or other administrators who drop in for occasional
and fill out forms to rate their performance.
The result? More than 9 out of 10 teachers get top marks,
according to a
prominent study last year by the New Teacher Project, a nonprofit
on improving teacher quality.
Now Bill Gates, who in recent years has turned his attention and
fortune to improving American education, is investing $335 million
foundation to overhaul the personnel departments of several big
A big chunk of that money is financing research by dozens of social
and thousands of teachers to develop a better system for evaluating
The effort will have enormous consequences for the movement to hold
and educators more accountable for student achievement.
Twenty states are overhauling their teacher-evaluation systems,
fulfill plans set in motion by a $4 billion federal grant
are eagerly awaiting the research results.
For teachers, the findings could mean more scrutiny. But they may
more specific guidance about what is expected of the teachers in the
if new experiments with other measures are adopted â including tes
teachersâ mastery of their subjects, surveys that ask students abo
learning environments in their classes and digital videos of
scored by experts.
âItâs huge,â said Deborah Loewenberg Ball, dean of the
School of Education. âTheyâre trying to do something nobodyâs
do it very quickly.â
The Gates research is by no means the first effort of its kind.
have already developed a statistical method called value-added
calculates how much teachers help their students learn, based on
scores from year to year. The method allows districts to rank
Value-added modeling is used in hundreds of districts. But teachers
that boiling down all they do into a single statistic offers an
picture; they want more measures of their performance taken into
The Gates research uses value added as a starting point, but aims to
other measures that can not only rate teachers but also help
understand why one is more successful than another.
Researchers and educators involved in the project described it as
complex in its effort to separate the attributes of good teaching
idiosyncrasies of individual teachers.
Mr. Gates is tracking the research closely. The use of digital
particular has caught his attention. In an interview, he cited its
evaluating teachers and for helping them learn from talented
âSome teachers are extremely good,â Mr. Gates said. âAnd one
of the goals
to say, you know, âLetâs go look at those teachers.â Whatâs
little the exemplars have been studied. And then saying, âO.K., Ho
w do you
a math teacher whoâs in the third quartile and teach them how to g
interested â get the kid whoâs smart to pay attention, a kid
attention?â Teaching a teacher to do that â you have to follow
The meticulous scoring of videotaped lessons for this project is
a scale never undertaken in educational research, said Catherine A.
director for the Educational Testing Service who is overseeing the
By next June, researchers will have about 24,000 videotaped lessons.
some must be scored using more than one protocol, the research will
involve reviewing some 64,000 hours of classroom video. Early next
McClellan expects to recruit hundreds of educators and train them
The goal is to help researchers look for possible correlations
teaching practices and high student achievement, measured by value-
Thomas J. Kane, a Harvard economist who is leading the research, is
announce some preliminary results in Washington next Friday. More
conclusions are expected in about a year.
The effort has also become a large-scale field trial of using
to help teachers improve and to evaluate them remotely.
âVideo lasts,â Dr. McClellan said, creating possibilities for di
teachers about improving classroom techniques. âColleagues can wat
and say, âRight here â where you did that â try this next
time.â So the
learns a new skill.â
There are advantages for teacher evaluations, too, Dr. Kane said.
With videos, for instance, several professionals, rather than just
principal, could rate the same classroom performance, making
subjective, he said.
âIt potentially creates a cottage industry for retired principal
expert teachers, to moonlight on weekends scoring classroom
An Internet-based approach to teacher evaluation could also
pressures on school districts. New laws in many states, after all,
more frequent observations of teachers.
A new evaluation system in Washington, D.C., for example, requires
observations each year, compared with the previous systems that
two at most, and in many cases none at all. Starting next fall, a
will require at least four observations a year, rather than one
In some districts, the increased pace is straining the workload of
administrators. Memphis officials realized that under the new
district would need to conduct more than 28,000 classroom
a task that could overwhelm the cityâs school principals.
âThis technology can help us face the logistical challenge of be
ing in so
places at the same time,â said John Barker, who leads the distric
and evaluation office.
The district still intends to have principals visit classrooms,
will start a pilot program to use videotaped observations, he said.
Dr. Kane said the foundation hoped more school districts would start
classroom videos, for training and for evaluations, and has worked
Teachscape, a contractor providing cameras, software, and other
the research, estimated first-year startup costs of about $1.5
district with 140 schools and 7,000 teachers to buy one camera per
lease the software to carry out classroom observations using
After that, annual costs would drop to about $800,000, said Mark
chief executive of Teachscape, which is based in San Francisco.
In addition to the cost â which many struggling districts may co
high â another barrier could be teacher opposition. The Memphis te
an affiliate of the National Education Association, has partnered
foundation for the project. But Keith Harris, its president, said
videotaped observations in evaluations raised troubling questions.
âWhose eyes would see these videos?â Mr. Harris asked. âWho
This seems like an âI gotchaâ kind of thing. We think these
a human being.â
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of
several affiliates participating in the research, also expressed
âVideotaped observations have their role but shouldnât be used to
in-person observations to evaluate teachers,â Ms. Weingarten said.
hard to justify ratings by outsiders watching videotapes at a remote
who never visited the classroom and couldnât see for themselves a
interaction and relationship with students.â
Dr. Kane said doubts may disappear with time. âWeâre not
naÃve,â he said.
realize that most principals and teachers imagine an in-person
visit from a
human being when they think of classroom observations. But that could
change. Itâs not out of the realm of possibility that millions of
could be using this technology within four or five years.â
Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
ph- (239) 395-6773 fax- (239) 395-6779
cell- (239) 699-0468
Direct list questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
âBe master of mind rather than mastered by mindâ
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