Saturday, March 24, 2012

Data-Driven is Driving out the Good Ones

from Jay Mattthews:
Cotton worked hard. He said his evaluations from classroom observers got better as the year went on. But his students failed to outdo their suspiciously high fourth-grade scores to save his job. Those test results counted 50 percent in Cotton’s final evaluation.
He might have been a lousy teacher, but most first-year teachers need a lot of practice to get this job right. It takes about three years to catch up to the standard. It makes no sense to toss him under the bus.

The data requires me to be 
stupid, that's why.
The test maker sees evidence of cheating in the previous year's answer sheets, for a "suspicious number of wrong to right erasures". A former teacher is fired for cheating, or as the administration puts it, "is no longer at the school" because of  "a lapse of integrity".  What to do?  Fire the new guy because his more honest scores are too low, because you can fire a probationary teacher without cause or reason, because you will be "doing something", because "we will turn this place around".

Decisions must be data-driven instead of intelligence-based, apparently. 

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