Stop lying about 4/1being a lost day of instruction. It was a lost day of PARCC testing.
— Karen Lewis (@KarenLewisCTU) April 2, 2016
So – is assessment part of teaching?
Did you ever grade your art students? Based on what data?
What if I didn’t like the methodology you used, like you don’t like PARCC?
Is teacher evaluation a valid part of education? How were you evaluated (or weren’t you – being a Union boss)? Is student achievement/improvement a valid component of teacher assessment? If not, what should teacher assessment be about? Union Membership?
Just asking; don’t expect answers – I think I know what yours are.
1. Of course assessment is a part of teaching. Standardized tests like the PARCC have very little to do with teaching and learning. They are neither valid nor reliable. PARCC is created by those far from the teaching and learning process and the results are of little use for either assessing learning or improving teaching.
2. I graded my art students as little as possible. I gave them lots of feedback and encouragement with an understanding that assigning a score or a letter grade to their work provided neither useful feedback nor encouragement.
3. It is not a matter of *liking* a methodology. Everything about teaching and learning should be morally and educationally defensible. More than anything else, teaching is a moral act with a moral purpose.
4. However you propose to evaluate a teacher, it is not morally or educationally defensible to do it based on the individual test scores of their students based on one set of tests.
5. Teacher assessment, like evaluating all the social work people do, should be based on a conversation among those involved. And yes, union membership provides a way to have that conversation based on the collective bargaining process. In my district, for example, we spent several years developing a process with our board and administration for evaluating, improving or dismissing employees that was fair, required documentation, and meant that our district had a high quality staff of empowered teachers and administrators. Once Illinois adopted a state-wide evaluation system as demanded by Arne Duncan and the Department of Education, our local evaluation system had to be thrown out.