Home > Uncategorized > They want your help. They really, really do.

They want your help. They really, really do.

January 9, 2013

What is value? And how do you add it?

These are the key questions the State Department of Education and its contributors will attempt to answer in working groups over the next six weeks. That is why, this week, the SDE issued a call for all hands on deck. They want anyone and everyone – especially teachers who don’t have a regular classload (such as counselors and media specialists) or teachers in non-graded subjects (the majority of the profession) – to help with creating a methodology for the portion of the Teacher Leader Evaluation system that falls to “other academic measures.” In reformer terms, they are talking about Value Added Measurements.

According to the SDE’s notice for the working group:

The quantitative portion of teacher and leader evaluations under the TLE System, which will comprise 35% of the evaluation, will be calculated based on Value-Added or Student Growth Data. In addressing those teachers and leaders in grades and subjects for which there is no state-mandated testing measure to create a quantitative assessment, the TLE Commission and the Oklahoma State Board of Education have chosen to:

Conduct more research to determine the appropriate measure(s) of student achievement taking into account a combination of multiple measures and including teacher, leader, and specialist input.

A list of options needs to be drafted for presentation to the TLE Commission and the Oklahoma State Board of Education. In addition, consideration must be given as to whether or not percentages for qualitative/quantitative measures should be adjusted for teachers of non-tested grades/subjects and those without a teaching assignment.

Any TLE Commission Member or other interested party may participate in the working group, but it is essential that attendees register so that we have enough space, handouts, facilitators, etc.

The appearance of stakeholder input is important to the image the SDE wants to project. In the past two years, educators have participated on committees to develop the state’s waiver to NCLB, only to find upon arrival that the major decisions have already been made; they have shown up to speak to SDE officials about rules for the A-F Report Cards only to find the room filled with tape recorders; and they have served on the TLE Commission only to have the state superintendent disregard their 12-5 vote for the Tulsa Model because she prefers a different one.

Given this track record, it is easy to understand why professional educators might want to skip this call to serve. That’s not happening, however. No, the SDE claims to be a little surprised by the size of the response. They are trying to manage the size of the crowd that they’re going to have. Sure, they can spin this response to claim that it shows support for the junk science that is VAM. In my mind, it shows that educators are beginning to rise up to take back the profession.

Want to make it interesting? More people should sign up. Tell your friends. Tell your co-workers. Tell the parents in your community.

Send them here to register.

The SDE says it’s important that we tell them how to measure the value of teachers whose instructional content isn’t tested. I say if you need test scores to know whether your art teacher has value, then you have no business supervising anybody.

But I’m just one voice. They need to hear it from the choir.

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