Friday, June 10, 2005

The Near Impossibility of Testing for Teacher Quality --

This is an article that I have been thinking about writing about for a little while now. It is by David Berliner, Regents' Professor, Arizona State University and is published in the May/June issue of The Journal of Teacher Education. Like so much of what I write about it came from Susan O'hanian. It is quite long and scholarly and has a lot to say but I find the conclusion most interesting:

Because "quality" eludes us it is not surprising that a close examination of current tests of teacher quality reveals that they are simply inadequate. Under the usual constraints of time and money, the testing of teacher quality may be nearly impossible to do satisfactorily. What is abundantly clear to me is that political spectacle has taken precedence over the public’s genuine concerns about quality in teaching. As a result, many teachers are being forced to take tests that do not assess the constructs on which they claim to be based. This demeans and cheapens the teaching profession. It leads, paradoxically, to the possibility that inadequate and inappropriate testing for teacher quality may lower the quality of those who choose to enter the profession. Public education is not well served by bad tests of teacher quality. We should either pursue a genuine program to assess teacher quality or stop the charade

And it's not the only charade that needs to stop.

1 comment:

NYC Educator said...

I agree that teacher tests are not that tough. In NYC, where I teach, thousands fail them anyway, and are hired by Mayor Bloomberg a 3,000 bucks less per year. He had to get special dispensation from the state to hire them.

Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein then complain that the teachers are no good, and ask for concessions from the teachers' union.