‘Value-added’ metric to be used on Houston teachers
Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, roughly 50 percent of the performance reviews for 3rd– through 8th–grade educators will depend on student standardized test score results. “Value-added” will contribute to a quarter of the teacher’s end-of-year review. Those scores will take the longest running average available per teacher up to a 3-year running average.
“Value-added,” a statistical tool that compares the projected success of a student to that child’s demonstrated test score results, has been employed by the school district since 2007. However, the new amalgam of quantitative and qualitative teacher reviews will be the first time “value-added” will be used for accountability purposes.
Teachers will earn a “summative appraisal rating” based on a four-point scale ranging from Ineffective to Highly Effective. That rating will apply to the areas scrutinized by administrators: Student Performance, Instructional Practice and Professional Expectations. Final assessments will be issued at the end of the year, and the adopted plan will allow teachers to file an appeal.
Advocates for means-based teacher evaluation models balk at the idea devices like “value-added” are unfair to educators. At a forum in Washington, D.C. last week, former Chancellor of DC Public Schools Michelle Rhee said the current standard of grading teachers is “100 percent subjective” because it is based on whether “the principal likes you or not.”
The school board, in the run up to ratifying the new evaluation plan, released an internal study (PDF) that determined school officials and educators were frustrated with the now-defunct evaluation process: “Only 44% of teachers and 28% of principals believe it’s accurate, and only 43% of teachers believe it helps them improve in the classroom.”
Two unscheduled classroom walk-throughs by administrators that last at least 30 minutes round out the rest of the newly adopted reviews.
High school teachers who administer the state’s End of Course exams will be judged partially by “value-added” beginning in 2012.
The American Independent has written a helpful guide to the advantages and limitations of the “value-added” model.