Jonathan Halabi’s teaching evaluation.

randomnumber_wordle

-Jonathan Halabi is a math teacher, union activist and blogger in the Bronx. This was posted on Arthur Goldstein’s NYC Educator.

By now, you’ve gotten your evaluation report in your DOE email. You may or may not understand it. I won’t pretend to. Activist blogger Jonathan Halabi wrote something on Facebook that caught my eye, and I asked him to expand it and share it here. He looked for meaning in the MOSL in a way that wouldn’t have occurred to me. After he did that, I sent him my evaluation, and he found it to be about as meaningful as his own (and likely yours too). See for yourself:

I was just evaluated by a list of numbers that could have been random

I took the last two digits of 71 of my last year students’ student ID numbers (OSIS), put them in order, and made a list.

I asked a random number generator to give me 71 numbers from 1 to 100, I put them in order, and I made a list.

I took my “student growth percentiles” from my teacher evaluation, all 71 of them, put them in order, and made a list.

Can you tell which list is which? You probably cannot.  All three of these lists, they appear very similar. Look for yourself:

1, 1, 2, 6, 7, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 19, 19, 22, 25, 25, 25, 27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 33, 35, 36, 42, 42, 42, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 51, 51, 52, 52, 56, 58, 58, 58, 58, 62, 62, 63, 63, 65, 66, 66, 69, 70, 71, 73, 73, 73, 74, 74, 75, 76, 80, 80, 81, 81, 83, 84, 85, 88, 90, 94, 94, 95, 98

1, 1, 1, 7, 7, 9, 11, 14, 14, 14, 16, 16, 17, 17, 20, 20, 23, 24, 27, 27, 28, 29, 33, 34, 34, 35, 41, 41, 43, 46, 48, 48, 48, 50, 51, 53, 58, 61, 62, 62, 63, 63, 63, 64, 66, 67, 67, 67, 69, 73, 75, 75, 76, 76, 77, 78, 78, 78, 79, 79, 81, 81, 81, 83, 85, 85, 87, 95, 95, 96, 97

2, 4, 5, 6, 6, 8, 10, 10, 10, 13, 16, 16, 17, 19, 20, 23, 28, 28, 28, 28, 31, 32, 33, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 38, 40, 40, 41, 42, 48, 52, 52, 52, 53, 54, 55, 59, 59, 62, 62, 63, 64, 66, 66, 67, 67, 69, 69, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 79, 82, 84, 86, 86, 88, 89, 90, 91, 91, 96, 97, 99

Here’s a hint:  the average of the first list is 51, the average of the second list is 51, and the average of the third list is 49. Doesn’t help, does it?

Statisticians can examine data to see how “spread out” it is. They use something called “standard deviation.” The standard deviations for these three lists? 27, 28, and 28. Still doesn’t help.

The real list is as random as the random list. Next year they might as well base my score on my students’ ID numbers.

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