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    « CUSD Superintendent Farley to Moderate Homework Discussion | Main | CUSD: Our Attorney Says No Violation of Brown Act Occurred »

    March 09, 2011

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    Keep in mind that, in last few data-lovin' decades, most public school teachers have been unionized. In a union, experienced teachers feel protected from ageism and are more likely to collaborate, rather than compete, with those less experienced. That helps even out performance statistics over time. If teachers were not unionized and experienced teachers competed with new hires, data would reflect talent more than learned skills.

    Regardless of age, if teachers had to compete with colleagues for their jobs, there would be no collaboration whatsoever. Imagine the scramble to get the smart kids every September. I do know that I am a more patient, confident, enthusiastic, and effective teacher now than when I started 34 years ago. Isn't this a no-brainer really?

    I agree with both of these posts. Collaboration is the key to best practices in teaching. Keep in mind that teaching can be a very isolated experience. Every teacher works alone and has little opportunity to see others at work. The opportunity to visit other schools and programs is valued. The conversations in the teacher's lounge are full of "what do you think about..." conversations. Reinventing the wheel is not the best way to do anything.

    I felt that I got better every year and more enthusiastic every year. Experience helped me deal with situations that might have been very challenging at first. And I loved collaborating with experienced teachers and teachers new to the profession.

    Is there any accounting for, since they're using test data, the fact that more difficult/challenging kids are often given to the more experienced teachers, and that may also reflect in the "leveling out" effect?? I agree- I have gotten better every year. That's one of the things I love about my job- I get to reflect on what I've done and improve it each year by tweaking, trying different strategies, and sharing with others what works and what doesn't.

    Seriously? - You make an excellent point. I have 25 years in, and for the past 20 of those years, I have always been given the difficult students because I can handle them. My esteemed colleague has taught the gifted for 15 years. A few years back she had one non-gifted class and complained incessantly. Obviously her students' test scores are higher than my students;, but really, who is the better teacher if one can only teach the brightest of the bright?

    That would be the problem with using test scores to measure the effectiveness of teachers. Why is it that they are used to measure schools and now, potentially, teachers...but not students? It makes no sense at all. If we really wanted them to be helpful for teaching we would give them at the beginning of the year and use the results to plan curriculum.

    i don't know who put this data together, but in Figure 1, the Teacher's Years of Experience is compressed in the latter years (switching from individual years of experience to ranges of five years or more), effectively making the negative slope of the line look steeper than it truly is. At best, if they were to normally distribute the independent variable in this data, you would quickly find that the downward slope comes close to a straight line.

    Isn't that what CORE Testing was for? Test at the beginning and end of the year to see how much the student increased in knowledge? That was the only test that made sense to me as a parent.

    well? You are not alone. Most teachers I know loved CORE. I felt like it allowed me to see the progress the students made. I work at a school that is a well-performing school. Most of my 5th graders can meet the 5th grade standards coming INTO 5th grade, so what does the STAR test tell me? NOTHING. Only that they have met 5th grade standards. The CORE test allowed students to take tests higher than their grade to show truly ABOVE grade level performance. I so miss the CORE.
    You will never be able to us test scores to determine a teacher's pay, unless you can ensure that every teacher starts with the same class. It just isn't fair or reasonable.

    One more point, if we were to use a teacher's salary schedule data to plot a line graph, we would find that the over the first ten, or so, years, the rate of salary increase would be fairly linear in the positive direction due to step increases (I am holding column increases constant for the sake of controlling for one variable). After that, the the slope of the line would change to a flatter slope. If we overlay that with the graph in Figure 1 which compares Teacher's Years of Experience to the Proportion of the Standard Deviation of Improvement of Math Student Achievement Attributable to Teacher Experience, we would find that the lines closely match. So, for those of you out there who argue that more experienced teachers are not worth their salt, it appears as though the data on experienced teacher effectiveness already coincides with a teacher's salary schedule.

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