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ERIC Number: EJ932789
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6855
Neither Fair nor Accurate: Research-Based Reasons Why High-Stakes Tests Should Not Be Used to Evaluate Teachers
Au, Wayne
Rethinking Schools, v25 n2 p34-38 Win 2010-2011
Current and former leaders of many major urban school districts, including Washington, D.C.'s Michelle Rhee and New Orleans' Paul Vallas, have sought to use tests to evaluate teachers. In fact, the use of high-stakes standardized tests to evaluate teacher performance in the manner of value-added measurement (VAM) has become one of the cornerstones of current efforts to reshape public education along the lines of the free market. On the surface, the logic of VAM and using student scores to evaluate teachers seems like common sense: The more effective a teacher, the better his or her students should do on standardized tests. However, although research shows that teacher quality has an effect on test scores, this does not mean that a specific teacher is responsible for how a specific student performs on a standardized test. Nor does it mean teachers can equate effective teaching (or actual learning) with higher test scores. Given the current attacks on teachers, teachers' unions, and public education through the use of educational accountability schemes based wholly or partly on high-stakes standardized test scores and VAM, it is important that educators, students, and parents understand why, based on educational research, such tests should not be used to evaluate teachers. The author offers six clear explanations why "value-added measurements" do not make sense for teacher assessment.
Rethinking Schools, Ltd. 1001 East Keefe Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53212. Tel: 414-964-9646; Fax: 414-964-7220; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; Louisiana
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001