Audrey Amrein-Beardsley here summarizes and comments on a very enlightening interview with Jesse Rothstein in the Washington Post. Rothstein, an economist, conducts research on teacher evaluation and accountability.
Rothstein, on teacher evaluation:
“In terms of evaluating teachers, “[t]here’s no perfect method. I think there are lots of methods that give you some information, and there are lots of problems with any method. I think there’s been a tendency in thinking about methods to prioritize cheap methods over methods that might be more expensive. In particular, there’s been a tendency to prioritize statistical computations based on student test scores, because all you need is one statistician and the test score data….
“Why the interest in value-added? “I think that’s a complicated question. It seems scientific, in a way that other methods don’t. Partly it has to do with the fact that it’s cheap, and it seems like an easy answer.”
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