New York City is going to spend millions developing a test to be given to students to measure teacher performance.
"Other states, including Kentucky, tried similar tests, Dr. Koretz said, but abandoned them, partly because they could not compare results from year to year. Teachers were also having their students practice the particular skills they knew would be tested, meaning the exam was measuring test preparation, not necessarily broader learning, which became an issue in New York’s state standardized tests."
Montgomery County has developed a peer-review system for teachers to evaluate and mentor each other. Everyone agrees it's great; it doesn't have a standardized component, though, so it won't qualify for Race to the Top money. Reporting on the program in the New York Times, Michael Winerip writes:
"So here is where things stand: Montgomery’s PAR program (Peer Assistance and Review), which has worked beautifully for 11 years, is not acceptable. But the Maryland plan — which does not exist yet — meets federal standards."
That all makes so much sense, right?
Then again, there's climate change to worry about. Which is to say, testing sucks but I really wish the environmental lobby were as effective as that of the educational test makers.