Mark Sass, a teacher since 1994, teaches at Legacy High School in the Adams Five Star School District.
The Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) has just released a white paper “New Student Assessments and Advancing Teaching as a Results-Oriented Profession.” The paper is is co-authored by CTQ president Barnett Berry, director of research and policy Alesha Daughtrey, and Renee Moore, Dave Orphal, and Marsha Ratzel of the Teacher Leaders Network. This description is from the CTQ website:
The paper raises cautions about the use of value-added models (VAMs) as “the preferred method” to estimate the effects of individual teachers on student achievement. Even highly accomplished teachers who embrace accountability, the authors say, “are skeptical of using VAMs as a central measure of their effectiveness,” citing the narrowness of what the models measure and reports from researchers of significant and high error rates.
However, the paper supports “the strategic use of value-added data, with the models’ limitations in mind” and urges the engagement of expert teachers in efforts “to sharpen those models and their underlying student assessments to improve accountability systems in ways that support more effective teaching.”
As educators are confronted with new standards and accountability measures, implementation of these new “realities” will not be successful without identifying teacher leaders and putting them to work in their schools. As budget cuts loom, it is important to recognize the role of teacher leaders at the school and district level. We need to be very thoughtful about removing teachers from these positions as a way to increase the number of teachers in the classroom.
CTQ has also published a new book, “Teaching 2030,” co-authored by Barnett Berry and 12 accomplished U.S. teacher leaders. I have not read the book but I am intrigued based on a short animated clip that spotlights some of the themes of the book. I was especially impressed by their challenge to teachers’ unions to behave more like professional guilds.
CTQ has embraced the notion that teachers can do more than react to what is being done to them and is proactively articulating what needs to be done. Good for them.
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