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Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 9, 2013 at 7:02 AM

Educational growth cannot be measured by a state test

Year-long evaluations will give more accurate results

Just as students’ educational growth and ability cannot be fully measured by a state test, a teacher’s ability cannot be measured by the students’ test scores [“Not many teachers can be evaluated using state test scores,” Online, Nov. 4].

Our society is stuck in a fast-paced mindset: the faster the better. In order to fully measure students’ and teachers’ progress in the classroom, it is going to take more time and effort than bubbling in an answer sheet.

Using students’ test scores as the measure for a teacher’s ability to teach only encourages teachers to put a heavy amount of stress and importance on the testing material. This takes away from other subjects and information, such as history, art and sciences. However, if a teacher does put an equal amount of attention on all subjects, the knowledge that students gain in the areas that are not tested would never be acknowledged (if using the standardized testing method to measure a teacher’s quality.)

A more accurate way to measure both students’ and teachers’ work during a school year is portfolio evaluations. Each student’s portfolio would include a variety of work from all subjects throughout the year. A non-biased panel would evaluate the portfolios. The evaluations would then help measure the quality of the teacher.

Nicole Odegard, Bellingham

Comments | More in Education | Topics: education

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