I really value EdNews’ daily churn discussion of current issues in Colorado education policy and coverage of breaking events outside of Colorado. These are typically objective, news-oriented pieces.
That is why I am a bit concerned about the Thursday (October 28) daily churn item on Lorrie Shepard. The discussion seems to suggest there should be major concern about the fact that Professor and CU Boulder Dean Shepard was recently part of a major national report issued by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) on teacher evaluation, while she is also serving on the Colorado State Council for Educator Effectiveness.
The report, which actually was released a few months ago, is a very thorough and scholarly discussion of problems with using student test score data to evaluate teachers. It takes a point of view and supports it quite well with research evidence. This perspective would seem to be important for the Colorado Council to keep in mind as they deliberate.
Colorado is very fortunate to have such a knowledgeable, national expert on teacher effectiveness in Professor Shepard (her relevant credentials include recently serving as President of the American Education Research Association, the National Council on Measurement in Education, and on the National Research Council’s Board on Testing and Assessment ).
Also among the 10 authors of this report are Robert Linn, CU Boulder professor emeritus, and Professor Helen Ladd, from Duke, who has also done outstanding, data-driven work on charter school performance. It is an impressive gathering of expertise on this topic. To even hint that this EPI panel is timed to be part of some kind of crazy left-wing effort to kill serious teacher evaluation is highly misleading. (“We didn’t see any National Education types on the Institute Board.” – I’m not sure what this even means).
EPI itself is a very respected, left-of-center public policy think tank – Richard Rothstein, former education writer for the New York Times, has been their central education policy scholar. While they are certainly pro-labor and supported by unions (teachers unions and others), their work is thoughtful and reasonable, and a fair counterpoint to work coming out of AEI, Brookings, Ed Sector, and others in DC.
And, perhaps I’ve missed it, but has there been a daily churn item noting the funding and board membership of groups like AEI, DFER, and others when they release reports ?
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