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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 20, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Teacher evaluations: Test students at beginning and end of instruction

In response to Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn’s call for state test scores as part of teacher evaluation: I am a science teacher in a middle school in Snohomish County [“Consider test scores in teacher evaluations,” Opinion, Feb. 13].

If the test scores used as part of my evaluation were from a pre-test at the start of the year and a post-test at the end of the year, this would provide a good indication of the degree of learning students have acquired in my classroom during the year. But this is not the case.

How can my teaching effectiveness be tested if a baseline isn’t set at the beginning of the student’s learning experience? State tests are given once, in the spring. Such an open-ended system doesn’t test only what learning my instruction has produced, it tests the learning of the student throughout his or her learning experience history. I do not understand why I should be evaluated on learning that occurred before students entered my classroom.

If this addition to the evaluation system comes to pass, I see teachers abandoning meaningful instruction in order to teach to the test to ensure their evaluation meets standard.

Scott Presho, Brier

0 Comments | More in Education | Topics: Randy Dorn, Scott Presho, Student test scores

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