Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why Teachers Won't Receive Their Final Scores Until the Following Year

Update: The DOEs own PowerPoint confirms this (look on the fifth slide: "All teachers receive summative rating by September of the following school year")

I'm one of those teachers who actually uses ARIS to help me get a good picture of my students. One piece of evidence I use  is how well students have performed on previous assessments. I teach high school, so one thing I look at is their previous regents scores. As I've written before, those scores are available in an ARIS report. It shows all of the results of recent exams, broken down into item analysis, from the previous term.

Last year, at the end of the year, I found myself feeling quite anxious about how my own students had performed on the Regents exam they took after being in my class. So, I accessed this report, which is public to my school community. I found that, on the very last day of school, the item analysis  for how the students had performed on the regents exams they had taken just taken the week before was not available. I asked around and was informed that they couldn't possibly be ready until after the summer. The following September, they were there.

But they weren't there in June.

Now Gotham Schools says that 82% of the city's teachers won't be using the state VAM next year (see here), but will be using SLOs. Based on this year's numbers, that's roughly 62,000 employees.

This means that the city will have to compile the scores of two separate assessments (one state and now one local) -assessments that teachers are no longer permitted to score-  and then calculate over 120,000 performance indexes (2 for each of these teachers), convert those indexes into the Danielson score, then combine those scores with subjective scores (60%) that the principals had accumulated through observations throughout the year for each  and every teacher in the system -all within the last few days of the school year. 

I know the DOE much better than that. Both my experience and common sense says that's just not going to happen. There is no way the department will be able to compile and distribute test scores in time.

As a result, teachers will not know their full evaluation score by the end of the year in 2014. We'll probably know our Danielson score, worth 60 points. But we won't know the full score -including the 40 points from both assessment categories until the following September. It's just that simple.

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