Eye on Education

Some Teachers Want Longer School Year Because They’re Now Judged on How Much Students Learn

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For the first time next year, Ohio teachers must be evaluated based on how much their students learn, and, in some cases, how well students do on state tests.

In the Cardington-Lincoln school district in central Ohio, the change has prompted teachers to request that school start earlier next year.

But starting school earlier in Cardington would mean students wouldn’t be able to attend the first days of the local county fair.


The Morrow County Sentinel reports:

Super­in­ten­dent Brian Petrie noted the teach­ers feel they need that time to do the test­ing with­out inter­rup­tion. He drew a sim­i­lar­ity to those stu­dents who come to school at 7:30 a.m. to prac­tice for ath­let­ics or band. Ask­ing them to do that is no dif­fer­ent from ask­ing stu­dents to go to school those fair days.

Under the new teacher evaluation system, teachers will receive one of four labels:Accomplished, Proficient, Developing or Ineffective.

For teachers in elementary and middle schools, at least one quarter of that final rating next year must be based on how students perform on state tests. That part of the teacher-evaluation equation looks at a statistical measure called value-added that shows how much students learn in a given year, rather than just how high they score on state tests.

The state sets the days that tests must be administered. That means that Cardington can’t give the state tests later in the spring. For elementary and middle school students, testing next year will happen in late April and early May.

In Cardington, some board members say students shouldn’t have to choose between attending school and attending the county fair, the Morrow County Sentinel reports.

And some board members say participating in the county fair counts as learning too:

“…If our teach­ers are doing their jobs and our stu­dents are per­form­ing well it would not mat­ter when the test comes– it’s like a test any­time in col­lege– they have to be ready. I thought I needed extra time but kids need time to be kids — and our county needs to sup­port our kids. we have dis­ci­pline prob­lems in our county because we don’t have enough kids par­tic­i­pat­ing in activ­i­ties like 4-H and learn­ing to make the best better,” [school board mem­ber Mar­i­lyn Davis said.]


  • duckmonkeyman

    “Value-add” is a gross misapplication of an industrial concept to student learning. Using flawed standardized tests as a measure, the multilevel statistical model must make assumptions that can greatly skew results. The idea is one massive causation fallacy saying improved test scores mean a good teacher. An excellent teacher can battle poverty, truancy, transience, and poor parenting yet still rank low. Trade-offs in the model penalize great teachers and reward poor teachers. Finally, the model is so insure and complex, teachers cannot know how their approaches improve value-add till after they are judged. The system becomes trial and error, game playing, and hopeless confusion.

  • duckmonkeyman

    And Marilyn Davis is just another teacher basher. Maybe rather than blaming the teachers and implying they are not doing their jobs, she should, along with the rest of America, actually learn what it takes to teach kids and LISTEN AND SUPPORT teachers. C’mon. Her approach is a jack boot on the throats of teachers saying “just shut up and teach”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/denise.delotell Denise DeLotell

    Marilyn Davis take note–one of your responsibilities as a School Board member is to support your teachers (“IF teachers are doing their jobs”) not the County Fair. The problem obviously is that teachers are being judged on their students scores on a standardized test–many teachers teach their best just to get some kids to a passing grade due to all the roadblocks to success in each students life. Marilyn get a clue!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

    Keep in school as much as possible. And hire more truant offices. What are they doing when they aren’t in school? Tagging or breaking into my car.

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