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March 15, 2012

I dare you to measure the "value" I add


(When i wrote this, I had no idea just how deeply this would speak to people and how widely it would spread. So, I think a better title is I Dare You to Measure the Value WE Add, and I invite you to share below your value as you see it.)

Tell me how you determine the value I add to my class.

Tell me about the algorithms you applied when you took data from 16 students over a course of nearly five years of teaching and somehow used it to judge me as "below average" and "average".

Tell me how you can examine my skills and talents and attribute worth to them without knowing me, my class, or my curriculum requirements.

Tell me how and I will tell you:

Much more on "value added assessment", here.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at March 15, 2012 2:36 AM
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I especially like her comment on the lunacy of continuing to give a meaningless "1" (significantly below grade level) to a child on a report card, who may be in 7th grade, read at a 1st grade level at the start of the year, and now, 3/4 of the way through the year, reads at a 4th grade level, and actually chooses to read on his/her own time and interests. Yes, it is true -- he or she is still "below grade level". But it is also true that this (theoretical, but plausible) child has advanced 3 years worth of reading levels in about 7 months. Yes, we want this child to "catch up", but we also need to recognize how far he or she has come so far. We can't rest on our laurels with this child's advancement, but we also can't be surprised when the parents are upset that she is still getting 'failing' grades that make it look like no effort is being put forth, when he has grown so much in one school year. Ah, but will she pass the state reading test at 'proficient' for grade level? Probably not. (Though if we continue to lower the expectations on the test far enough so "no one fails" - because that is the No Child Left Behind standard - then the state testing is still useless to the individual child or school, and even more useless as a teacher evaluation tool.)

Posted by: Millie at March 16, 2012 12:36 AM
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