Should Parents Check Teacher Scores?

Tennessee has well over a decade of value-added scores for teachers, but the state has always refused to make teacher scores public—if parents discover their kid’s teacher has low scores it can cause much turmoil. But with the advent of No Child Left Behind and scores being collected by states nationwide, media organizations have been forcing the release of scores by using the Freedom of Information Act. Newspapers in Los Angeles and New York have won suits forcing the release of individual test scores and it would appear to be just a matter of time before it occurs in Tennessee.

The Haslam administration is “jawboning” media organizations to leave the issue alone. At present, the school administrators get the scores and they are used for teacher evaluations and assessment and to improve teaching skills. If parents can go to a website and get scores for their child’s teacher, it will cause multiple headaches for school systems and teachers.

Advocates of release at the state level have always stressed that individual scores should not be for one year—they might not be representative of a teacher’s career. It could be a special case. There has been some sentiment for releasing a three- or five-year average of a teacher’s student scores. In theory, giving parents this information would bring enormous pressure on education reform.

The scores record how much “gain” a student makes during the course of a school year. If students do not score higher from year to year, it supposedly means they did not receive effective teaching during the course of the year. If all or most of the students in the class fail to “gain,” it may indicate a problem.

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Comments » 1

darkrains writes:

As a teacher and before any parent passes judgment on me or my teaching style, I want to see their parent scores. Often times, the reasons students do poorly in a classroom is because of what they do and don't learn about behavior at home. It is difficult to teach when most of one's time is spent in controlling unruly and rude students who appear to have no respect for the adult, aka teacher, in the classroom who generally starts off with enthusiasm for their subject matter and their profession. Unfortunately, it's the increase in bad students that destroys this enthusiasm for both. So, in this blame game the government has saddled on education with the "No Child Left Behind" and Obamification of a college education, why isn't responsibility taken where it needs to start: in the home? Students seem to have no respect for education nor the subject matter. Texting is their solution to boredom rather than participation. The unruly, rude student cries "she hates me," "he picks on me" as their response for bad grades or trips to the principal/counselor/vice-principal's office, and, instead of realizing that the adult, aka teacher, is responding to a situation that is NOT personalized or sticking up for the adult's judgment, they stick up for their brat of a child, refusing to acknowledge their child's rotten behavior and working on their parenting skills to correct it.
And I'm not even going to go into the bullying situation!

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