The Lookout

Twenty-three states now use student test scores to evaluate teachers

Liz Goodwin
The Lookout

View gallery

.

A parent-teacher conference in Chula Vista, Calif (AP)

Over the past two years, state governments have taken dramatic steps to transform how they evaluate and retain teachers.

In 2009, just 15 states employed teacher evaluations to judge educator performance, while only four states required students' test scores to be used in those evaluations, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality. Today, 24 states require yearly evaluations, and in 13 states, teachers can now be fired if their students do not improve on test scores.

The report finds that 17 states and Washington, D.C., now use student test scores as a meaningful factor in evaluating teachers. (The states are Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee.)

The reports' authors admit that not all subjects can be tested as easily as math and reading--but they contend that such difficulties shouldn't prevent states from continuing to try to evaluate teachers based on "student achievement," even when different subjects employ different measures of such achievement.

The authors say they disapprove of policies in Indiana, Michigan, and Florida that notify parents if their child is placed in a classroom with a teacher who was rated "ineffective" by the state's evaluation system. "If a district has evidence that a teacher is ineffective," the report says, "state policy should provide the means for the district to take the necessary steps to remove the individual from the classroom, not humiliate the teacher."

"You certainly can see the good intention behind that policy. Nobody wants their child to be with a poor teacher, but we think there are other ways to get at that," Jane Hannaway, vice president of the American Institutes of Research, told reporters. The American Institutes of Research has been contracted by some states to develop evaluation systems.

The country's largest teachers' union, the National Education Association, opposes using students' standardized test scores to evaluate teachers. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel told Yahoo News in September that value-added measures are too unreliable to serve as the chief factor in evaluating teachers.

Many states began adopting the policies to compete in the Obama administration's $4 billion "Race to the Top" competition, which doled out money to states that loosened rules on charter schools and developed test-based teacher evaluation systems.

View gallery

.

National Council on Teacher Quality

Other popular Yahoo! News stories:

• Florida authorities seize giant Lego man from beach

• Obama talks Libya, the Kardashians with Jay Leno

• Who is 'the Foreigner,' Al-Qaida's aid emissary to Somalia?

View Comments (2)

Recommended for You

  • Teacher found hanged in Southern California high school classroom

    A teacher was found hanged to death in a Southern California high school classroom when students arrived on Monday, police and fire officials said, in what was being investigated as an apparent suicide. Jillian Jacobson, a 31-year-old photography teacher, was found by students in a classroom at El…

    Reuters51 mins ago
  • Connecticut man found guilty of murdering 'Law & Order' actress

    By Richard Weizel MILFORD, Conn. (Reuters) - A Connecticut drug dealer was found guilty on Monday of brutally murdering his former girlfriend in her home nine years ago, just as her acting career had gotten a boost from a role in the popular television drama "Law and Order." Matthew Pugh, 42, of…

    Reuters
  • ‘Unbelievable’: City of Cleveland blames 12-year-old Tamir Rice for his own death

    Supporters of the family of Tamir Rice are outraged over the city of Cleveland’s claim that the 12-year-old boy was responsible for his own shooting death.

    Yahoo News
  • 4 people killed, 4 others injured in California car crash

    FREEDOM, Calif. (AP) — A head-on crash has left four people dead and four others seriously injured when a car packed with teens collided with a pickup truck in rural Santa Cruz County

    Associated Press
  • Play

    New Jersey driver could face charges after truck sinks in Toms River

    Andrew Mayer is keeping a very low profile after the incident, and on Monday, he spotted our camera and ran into the home where he rents a basement room.

    WABC – NY
  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike…

    AFP
  • One dead, four hurt in California restaurant brawl shooting

    By Michael Fleeman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - One person was shot dead and four others wounded when gunfire erupted during a brawl in a Southern California restaurant on Monday, and two of those hurt were in custody including one subdued by a security guard at the scene, police said. The brawl at El…

    Reuters
  • Meet 2 New Spider Species: 'Skeletorus' and 'Sparklemuffin'

    Two gorgeous new species of peacock spiders nicknamed "Skeletorus" and"Sparklemuffin" have been discovered in Australia, according to a new report. The two new species were found in southeast Queensland by Madeline Girard, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley who studies…

    LiveScience.com
  • Blood near the Kremlin: Russia's media fight back

    By Elizabeth Piper MOSCOW (Reuters) - A corpse on a bloodstained bridge, with the Kremlin's red stars glowing behind: the perfect symbolic backdrop, Russian media say, for the West to step up a campaign to vilify President Vladimir Putin. Faced with a wave of revulsion around the world at the…

    Reuters
  • Rap mogul 'Suge' Knight hospitalized for third time

    Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight was taken to hospital for the third time in less than a month Monday, as he made his latest appearance in court. "At this time, I don't know if I can proceed," he told LA Superior Court judge James Brandlin at Monday's hearing, which was cut short after Knight said he…

    AFP
  • Play

    NYPD searching for seven in vicious Bronx deli assault

    The NYPD is searching for seven people wanted in connection with a vicious assault at a deli in the Bronx.

    KGO – San Francisco57 mins ago
  • Woman raped in Connecticut by man she met on dating app: police

    (Reuters) - A Massachusetts woman was raped in New Haven, Connecticut, on Monday by a man she met through an online dating app, police said. New Haven Police arrested Timothy Turner, of Waterbury, Connecticut, and charged him with crimes including first-degree aggravated sexual assault. It was not…

    Reuters
  • Twist in Obamacare Supreme Court case: Weak plaintiffs

    New revelations about the four plaintiffs fighting the Affordable Care Act may put their case on shaky ground and dramatically shift the course of the case Wednesday, when the Supreme Court will hear both sides present their arguments for the first time.

    Yahoo News
  • Georgia's sole female death row inmate set to be executed

    The only woman on death row in Georgia is scheduled to be executed on Monday for her husband's 1997 murder, barring last-minute legal action. Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, would be the first woman executed by the state in 70 years. Prosecutors said she plotted with her boyfriend, Gregory Owen, to…

    Reuters
  • Iraq launches major assault to retake Tikrit from IS

    Some 30,000 Iraqi troops and militia backed by aircraft pounded jihadists in and around Tikrit on Monday in the biggest offensive yet to retake one of the Islamic State group's main strongholds. Government forces have battled their way north for months, notching up key victories against IS, but…

    AFP
  • Boko Haram video shows 2 beheaded men accused of spying

    MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — The latest video from Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamic extremist group shows the bodies of two beheaded men accused of spying, and copies some of the hallmarks of propaganda from the Islamic State group.

    Associated Press
  • Video Exonerates Man Set Up By Louisiana Cops And Prosecutors

    If not for cell phone video, 47-year-old disabled veteran Douglas Dendinger could be going to prison — because of an apparent coordinated effort by Washington Parish, La. cops and prosecutors who falsely accused him of battery and witness intimidation. As New Orleans’ WWL reports, Dendinger’s…

    The Daily Caller