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Experienced Teachers Left Behind in NC Pay Raise

Education Week reports that while North Carolina is making a move to raise teacher pay, the most experienced teachers there are being left behind: Lawmakers say teachers would see, on average, 4.7 percent pay bumps, as a result of the new budget bill. Officials estimate that the move would bring the state’s average teachers’ salary […]

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Toward Alternative Accountability Models for Schools

From the Lowell Sun: A consortium of public-school districts across the state, including Lowell, are teaming up to create an alternative accountability system that grades public schools beyond the basis of test scores. The Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment includes nine districts that will help develop a different kind of assessment — one that […]

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Beyond Test-Based Accountability

Helen Ladd offers a proposal for moving beyond test-based accountability for schools and it is one that holds promise for providing a more comprehensive evaluation of schools. Ladd notes of the recently replaced NCLB: Finally, test-based accountability has had limited success even in raising student test scores. One careful study of NCLB finds small to […]

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In Defense of Public Education

Kansas State Representative Don Hineman offers his views on the latest attack on public education in that state. He’s standing strong against a voucher/subsidy program that would siphon up to $300 million a year from Kansas public schools. He writes:   Now a much greater threat to public education has been proposed as part of […]

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Of Puzzles and Fuzzy Math

Last week in Tennessee education saw TC Weber calling on the Department of Education to trade-in its testing strategy for a new, more effective model. Then, Amy Frogge offered some insightful commentary on the high cost of school board races, even in Nashville. Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen announced she’s going on a summer tour. […]

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Pearson Saves the Day and TN Comes to Expect Failure

Last week, Tennessee reunited with an old friend, testing vendor Pearson. The company was awarded an emergency contract in the amount of $18.5 million to grade TNReady tests from this year. Already, some are questioning the wisdom of this arrangement. As graduation ceremonies take place across Tennessee, the state is also starting a new tradition: […]

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VAM: Correct Diagnosis, Wrong Prescription

In his recent article in Education Post, Arthur Levine laments the limits of current Value-Added Modeling (VAM) while proposing a move to a “new” VAM or VAM 2.0. To his credit, he correctly points out some significant limitations of VAM in determining teacher effectiveness, but the solutions he proposes move in the wrong direction. Here […]

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VAM: “Arbitrary” and “Capricious”

Those are the words from a New York judge in the case of a teacher who sued over her evaluation scores — scores based on value-added modeling, or VAM. While VAM has come under scrutiny from educators and academics as a suspect means of providing teacher evaluation scores, this case marks a turning point as […]

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More Testing Troubles for Tennessee

Last week was a very bad one for the new TNReady test in Tennessee. Here’s what I wrote about it: First, the state’s testing vendor, Measurement Inc. said the delays and challenges were not their fault. Then, correspondence between a Director of Schools and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen revealed some serious concerns about the test […]

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Is RTI Working?

An analysis of a 2015 study by the U.S. Department of Education calls into question the effectiveness of the Response to Intervention program. Specifically, the analysis (and the study it cites) note that implementation has been uneven and in some cases, results in special education services being delayed or denied. The key finding is this: […]

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