Accountability Frankenstein

Another dirty little secret of test-based measures

New York State’s department of education recently reported that approximately 20% of students in testing grades refused to participate in this year’s state assessments, the high-water mark thus far of the opt-out movement. Among the various stories and arguments flowing from that is the argument that 20% refusal is easily over the threshold of non-participation […]

Validity’s likely irrelevance in personnel processes

My colleague Audrey Amrein-Beardsley is starting a series of blog entries glossing the March special issue of Educational Researcher devoted to value-added or growth measures, specifically the technical qualities vis-a-vis teacher evaluations. In her first entry on the issue today, she argues the following: [Quoting Doug Harris and Carolyn Herrington:] “The issue is not whether value-added measures are valid but […]

Deist school reform and teacher evaluations

As my colleague Audrey Amrein-Beardsley pointed out earlier today, there is a battle royale coming up this week in New York, with a hearing on the changes in state teacher evaluation policy mandated by this year’s budget agreement in Albany. Amrein-Beardsley sees the issue focused on value-added measures, in part because that is the obsession […]

Different ways to think about the "Florida package"

Different ways to think about the “Florida package”

My second email Q&A over Florida’s recent reform history is up at Valerie Strauss’s blog. I’m flattered that she calls me an expert on Florida reform. I’m more of a scholar of accountability who was also a local observer for 18 years, and one of those who have written about the state’s education reforms. (See a […]

Irregular verbs in federal law rewrite debates

At one level, the most recent debate over federal elementary and secondary education policy is about annual testing: will the next rewrite of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act continue to require that states test public school children annually in grades 3-8? The draft bill released by Senator Lamar Alexander (TN) suggested he was considering two possible policies: a […]