The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

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The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

New York district puts students’ test scores on Internet by teacher

Evaluating an educator: Principal Mark Maus observes art teacher Sharyn Hyatt-Wade during class. A New York law could publicize such teacher reviews. Photo by Halley Hollis.

The New York City Education Department adopted a policy Feb. 24 that publicizes teachers’ standardized test scores in the state of New York.

The scores show students’ gains on the math and English parts of the tests, up to the 2009-2010 school year. About 12,000 teachers’ reports are available for each year.

The purpose of the data is to rate teachers based on their performances. This is part of a national effort to “assess, compensate and dismiss teachers” by looking at students’ scores, according to New York Time’s Schoolbook.

The scores go on the public domain, allowing anyone with Internet access to browse a teacher’s students performances on standardized tests.

While nothing like this is in the works for Columbia Public Schools right now, the idea of this type of publication still upsets people.

Language arts teacher Jennifer Black-Cone said if CPS were to adopt a similar sort of system, something would be seriously wrong with the district. She said the administration assigns courses and students to teachers, so teachers never have control over who is in their classes.

If a teacher happens to get a class full of students who “don’t want to play school,” she said, the teacher isn’t able do anything because oftentimes the issues with the students lie beyond school grounds.

The students “either have broken homes or they have other issues or they have emotional issues or they have parents that are not supportive or they don’t value education. Whatever the reason, it’s beyond the walls of the school,” Cone said. “But yet the teachers are the ones that are being held accountable for a child’s failure. And that is wrong.”

Principal Mark Maus said a similar system in CPS could only take root if the state decided to pass a comparable law to publicize teacher scores, but that Missouri seems to focus more on the teacher’s choice.

“I don’t see the correlation of publishing a teacher’s [student’s]test score and then that somehow raising student achievement,” Maus said. “There’s just too many variables that go into try to make that correlation, so my belief is still in getting teachers together, collaborating, talking about what they want their students to learn, how they’re going to know if they learn it and what they’re going to do for those students that do and don’t learn it. I still believe that that needs to be our focus.”

Cone said the people who make decisions for Missouri’s public education system, usually at the state level, need to educate themselves on what exactly teachers have to do and not assume test scores directly represent the care and ability of any given teacher; too many other factors are involved in the decisions.

“If you don’t take care of the teachers and the people that are in the trenches with the kids,” Cone said, “and then also turn to the community and say, ‘Guys, you’re in on this too,’ that old adage of ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ it cannot all fall on the shoulders of the public schools.”
By Maddie Magruder

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