To the Editor:
Everyone in education seems to be choosing sides in the Chicago teachers’ strike, especially now that it’s over. One of the major issues in the strike was the percentage of a teacher’s overall evaluation that would be based on student test scores (“Chicago Dispute Puts Spotlight on Teacher Evaluation,” Sept. 19, 2012).
This is an issue in states and districts across the country, and it appears, as it did in Chicago, that the most commonly suggested percentage from those in legislative authority is 50 percent.
I see nothing wrong with basing part of a teacher’s evaluation on student test scores, but 50 percent is way out of line. There are so many variables, and effective teaching is so complex, that we must give more weight to the qualitative side of the equation and limit the impact of student test scores to a reasonable and defensible percentage.
Barlow Education Management Services LLC
Oklahoma City, Okla.
A version of this article appeared in the October 31, 2012 edition of Education Week as Test Scores Should Play Smaller Role in Evaluation