Testing Abuse

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Teachers and test scores

In August, the Fresno Unified School District was given a one-year waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to be freed from the strict guidelines of No Child Left Behind. In turn, Fresno Unified agreed to find a way of connecting teacher evaluations to student annual test scores.

According to The Bee's Oct. 12 story, Rhonnie Tinsley, executive director of the Fresno Teachers Association, said of contract negotiations: "Teachers are especially concerned about changes to the ways they are evaluated. Under the deal, up to 30% of a teacher's annual review could be based on student achievement."

This year, Fresno Unified will make every effort to make the union appear to be the obstacle in Fresno Unified being freed from NCLB sanctions. Expect to hear statements like this: "See, we could be freed from the harsh effects of NCLB if the union would only agree to have 30% of teacher evaluations tied to student test scores."

In the fall of 2009, the National Research Council strongly rebuked the U.S. Department of Education for attempting to use student test scores for purposes specifically related to the evaluation of teachers. Student test data should not be used to determine teacher effectiveness.

Rog Lucido