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August 18, 2013

The big problem with new evaluations of teacher prep programs

Valerie Strauss:

It takes some degree of chutzpah to evaluate teacher preparation programs with data said to be "in-depth" and "comprehensively collected" and then bury in small type the fact that some of the data isn't actually all that trustworthy.

That's what the New York City Department of Education did with the newly released reports that are said to grade teacher prep programs at colleges and universities in the city. The department put out a news release this week with the headline: "New York City Becomes the First Major School System in the Country to Comprehensively Collect and Analyze Data on New Teacher Hires from Post-secondary Schools of Education." You can find individual reports on a department webpage under the title "Human Capital Data."

The U.S. Education Department under Secretary Arne Duncan has been pushing "accountability" on teacher prep programs, using the standardized test scores of the students of the programs' graduates as a key measure, despite warnings from testing experts that this is an unreliable way of evaluating teachers. New York is the first to do it but this effort is going to be reproduced around the country

Posted by Jim Zellmer at August 18, 2013 1:22 AM
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