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Jeff Bernstein

Comments on NJ's Teacher Evaluation Report & Gross Statistical Malfeasance | School Fin... - 0 views

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    "A while back, in a report from the NJDOE, we learned that outliers are all that matters. They are where life's important lessons lie! Outliers can provide proof that poverty doesn't matter. Proof that high poverty schools - with a little grit and determination - can kick the butts of low poverty schools."
Jeff Bernstein

Good or bad? New rating system can't decide about this principal - 0 views

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    "I recently published a post about how a teacher in New York was wronged by the state's controversial new educator evaluation system, which is based in large part on student standardized test scores. Here's a story about a school principal's personal experience with the scores. This was written by Sean C. Feeney, principal of The Wheatley School in New York and president of the Nassau County High School Principals Association. He is a co-author of  the New York Principals letter of concern regarding the evaluation of teachers by student test scores. It has been signed by more than 1,535 New York principals and more than 6,500 teachers, parents, professors, administrators and citizens."
Jeff Bernstein

Trending Toward Reform: Teachers Speak on Unions and the Future of the Profession - 0 views

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    To understand how and why teachers' opinions may be changing, Education Sector worked with the Farkas Duffett Research Group to conduct four focus groups and a nationally representative survey 
    of K-12 public school teachers. The survey, which gathered responses from 1,101 teachers, repeated questions from a 2007 Education Sector survey and a 2003 Public Agenda survey about a variety of teacher-centered reforms, including new approaches 
    to evaluation, pay, and tenure, and the role of unions in pushing for or against these reforms. Accordingly, this report examines changes in teacher opinion from 2007 to 2011 and, as with the 2007 report, looks closely at differences between new teachers (less than five years) and veterans (more than 20 years).
Jeff Bernstein

One School's Views on the RI-CAN Report Card System - 0 views

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    As advocates for public education, The Learning Community has grave concerns about the RI-CAN school report cards that evaluate every Rhode Island public school based on faulty methodology. RI-CAN claims that their report cards "are designed to help families in Rhode Island access online information about their local schools" when in truth the report cards spread misinformation to concerned citizens. Instead of providing access to accurate data, RI-CAN summarizes a school's performance by using only one grade level's achievement on state standardized tests and mathematically incorrect calculations. 
    No efforts at holding schools accountable will succeed unless the measures used are fair and accurate. It is worth mentioning that we are expressing our strong opposition to the report cards despite the fact that The Learning Community ranked in the Top 10 schools in Rhode Island on 7 of the 14 indicators.
    The methodological deficiencies of the RI-CAN report cards render them at best useless and, at worst, harmful to our state's efforts to support the education of every child.
Jeff Bernstein

Michael Petrilli: We don't judge teachers by numbers alone; the same should go for schools - 0 views

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    So why do we assume, when it comes to evaluating schools, that we must look at numbers alone? Sure, there have been calls to build additional indicators, beyond test scores, into school grading systems. These might include graduation rates, student or teacher attendance rates, results from student surveys, AP course-taking or exam-passing rates, etc. Our own recent paper on model state accountability systems offers quite a few ideas along these lines. This is all well and good.

    But it's not enough. It still assumes that we can take discrete bits of data and spit out a credible assessment of organizations as complex as schools. That's not the way it works in businesses, famous for their "bottom lines." Fund managers don't just look at the profit and loss statements for the companies in which they invest. They send analysts to go visit with the team, hear about their strategy, kick the tires, talk to insiders, find out what's really going on. Their assessment starts with the numbers, but it doesn't end there.

    So it should be with school accountability systems.
Jeff Bernstein

Come Back To Jamaica | Gary Rubinstein's TFA Blog - 0 views

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    The New York City reform model is centered upon closing 'failing' schools and opening new ones. Some of these 'failing' schools have been pillars of their communities for decades. One such school I read about in The New York Times is Jamaica High School in Jamaica, Queens. This large high school opened in 1925. But it is in the process, now, of being shut down.

    New York City rates schools on an A to F scale and if a school gets an 'F' or a 'D' or three consecutive 'C's, then it runs the risk of getting shut down.

    I thought I'd take a look at the last Jamaica High School progress report to see if there was anything 'interesting.' What I found is that Jamaica High School, in the 2009 to 2010 school year did very well on the regents component of their 'progress' score. They ranked, in fact, 164th out of 424 schools.

    In this post, I'll explain how the 'Weighted Regents Pass Grades' are calculated and how Jamaica High School fared quite well on this metric.  Below is from Jamaica High's 2009-2010 progress report.  The left bar graph is the comparison to their peer group and the right graph is the comparison to all city schools.  Click on the image to enlarge it.
Jeff Bernstein

Challenging Corporate School Reform and 10 Hopeful Signs of Resistance « Reth... - 0 views

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    On Oct. 1, 650 people attended the 4th annual Northwest Teachers for Social Justice conference in Seattle.  Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp gave a well-received talk on "Challenging Corporate Ed Reform." He ended on an uplifting note with " 10 hopeful, tangible signs of organizing resistance and alternatives to the corporate reform agenda."    The following is an excerpt from that presentation.
Jeff Bernstein

Triangulating Principal Effectiveness: How Perspectives of Parents, Teachers, and Assis... - 0 views

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    While the importance of effective principals is undisputed, few studies have addressed what specific skills principals need to promote school success. This study draws on unique data combining survey responses from principals, assistant principals, teachers and parents with rich administrative data to identify which principal skills matter most for school outcomes. Factor analysis of a 42-item task inventory distinguishes five skill categories, yet only one of them, the principals' organization management skills, consistently predicts student achievement growth and other success measures. Analysis of evaluations of principals by assistant principals confirms this central result. Our analysis argues for a broad view of instructional leadership that includes general organizational management skills as a key complement to the work of supporting curriculum and instruction.
Jeff Bernstein

Commissioner King's presentation at the NYSCOSS Fall Conference | EngageNY - 0 views

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    Video of Commissioner King's presentation at the NYSCOSS Fall Conference on Superintendent Leadership and the Regents Reform Agenda.
Jeff Bernstein

Superintendent Leadership & the Regents Reform Agenda - 0 views

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    Presentation to NYS School Superintendents.
Jeff Bernstein

Statement of Principles on Teacher Quality and Effectiveness in the Reauthorization of ... - 1 views

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    They say it's all about great teachers and principals....
Jeff Bernstein

Approaches and Considerations for Incorporating Student Performance Results From "Non-T... - 0 views

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    This paper is designed to help policymakers and accountability professionals wrestle with the challenges of using student performance information as a component of educator evaluations when yearly state standardized tests are not available.
Jeff Bernstein

More Detail on the Problems of Rating Ed Schools by Teachers' Students' Outco... - 0 views

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    In my previous post, I explained that the new push to rate schools of education by the student outcome gains of teachers who graduated from certain education schools is a problematic endeavor… one unlikely to yield particularly useful information, and one that may potentially create the wrong incentives for education schools.  To reiterate, I laid out 3 reasons (and there are likely many more) why this approach is so problematic. Here, I divide them out a bit more - 4 ways.
Jeff Bernstein

Teaching by NFL Rules: A Response to Fran Tarkenton | Gerald W. Aungst - 0 views

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    This past Mon­day, the Wall Street Jour­nal posted an opin­ion piece by Fran Tarken­ton in which he pos­tu­lated what the NFL might be like if it had to play by what he called "teach­ers' rules."
Jeff Bernstein

A Framework for Good Teaching: a Conversation with Charlotte Danielson - Finding Common... - 0 views

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    "I believe that one of the reasons my framework has become so widely accepted is that it gives voice to what all educators know, that teaching is very complex work, it's a thinking person's job and you cannot follow a cookbook." Charlotte Danielson
Jeff Bernstein

Coalition of Ed. Reform Groups Releases Teacher Evaluation Ideas - Politics K-12 - Educ... - 0 views

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    Now that the Senate is getting close to consideration of a bill to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, groups are beginning to release their ideas on key aspects of the law, including teacher quality.
Jeff Bernstein

New evaluations run off Tennessee teachers - 0 views

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    Sherrie Martin, former teacher of the year at a Metro school, is questioning whether she really belongs in the classroom after scoring low on the state's new teacher evaluation.

    In Sumner County, Summer Naylor left her third-graders behind last month, resigning after eight years teaching. Too many mandates and evaluations made her job no longer fun.

    New evaluations pushed Robert "Bud" Raikes - the Smyrna High School principal who has a stadium named after him - into retiring early.
Jeff Bernstein

Rating Ed Schools by Student Outcome Data? « School Finance 101 - 0 views

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    Tweeters and education writers the other day were  all abuzz with talk by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan of the need to crack down on those god-awful schools of education that keep churning out teachers who don't get sufficient value-added out of their students.
Jeff Bernstein

Iowa eyes exit tests for high school graduates - 0 views

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    High school students might have to do more than pass their classes and have a good attendance record to earn their diplomas if Iowa joins the growing number of states that require exit exams as a condition of graduation.
    On Monday, state education officials will release a blueprint outlining the goals of Gov. Terry Branstad's education reform package he plans to take on a town hall tour across the state and then pass on to the Legislature in January.
    While the specifics haven't been made public, the blueprint is expected to call for changes in teacher pay and evaluations, encouraging the development of charter schools and the development of a new battery of tests that students will have to take --- and possibly pass --- as a condition of graduation
Jeff Bernstein

Conversations with Arne Duncan - Offering advice in educator evaluations - 0 views

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    We can't say how many high school principals get calls from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, particularly when he knows he'll be speaking with a critic of his policies. We do know that he got an earful when he called the principal of South Side High School in New York, Carol Burris (one of the authors of this article).
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