Opinion
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

‘Value Added’ Measures for Teachers’ Impact

May 11, 2010 1 min read

To the Editor:

Finally, after all the rhetoric about teacher evaluations being linked with students’ test scores, a sober voice is heard (“Tying Teacher Evaluation to Student Achievement,” Commentary, April 7, 2010). Susan H. Fuhrman’s mention of controlling for the differences among students and the family situations they are coming from—factors beyond a teacher’s or a school’s control—provides readers with a piece of the discussion that seems to have been overlooked until now.

As Ms. Fuhrman notes, using the value-added approach would allow teachers to worry less about how their students’ home situations will affect their own evaluations, and concentrate more on overcoming such factors to help students learn and grow.

I teach at a private high school that enrolls the students public schools, and parents, are not able to serve well (or, in some cases, to deal with at all). Because we are a boarding school, we have an advantage over traditional public schools in that we control what goes on in the students’ lives 24 hours a day. This also means that, as a teacher, I have a long reach in making sure that academics are not overlooked in the many other activities students take part in during weekends and evenings.

The kind of personal and academic turnarounds that private schools like ours can accomplish, even with the most-challenging of students, is just not going to happen in the public schools. When school is out, unmotivated students (and there are more of them all the time) are free to do what they want—and it’s often the unhealthy options available to them that they prefer.

In the end, something must be done to straighten out the home lives of problem students and counter the ways in which our culture and society aid and abet young people’s worst instincts. But how many parents and government officials ever visit public schools to see what’s happening? Worse yet, how many care?

Rick Reed

Sandpoint, Idaho

A version of this article appeared in the May 12, 2010 edition of Education Week as ‘Value Added’ Measures for Teachers’ Impact

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Strategies & Tips for Complex Decision-Making
Schools are working through the most disruptive period in the history of modern education, facing a pandemic, economic problems, social justice issues, and rapid technological change all at once. But even after the pandemic ends,

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession 4 Ways Districts Are Giving Teachers More Flexibility in Their Jobs
After a year-plus of pandemic schooling, some experts are seeing momentum for district leaders to reimagine what teaching can look like.
11 min read
Teacher working at home in front of camera.
Getty
Teaching Profession Why Teachers Leave—or Don't: A Look at the Numbers
New EdWeek survey results reveal why teachers consider leaving the profession, and how the pandemic has changed their decisionmaking.
6 min read
v40 32 Teacher Retention INTRO DATA
Stephanie Shafer for Education Week<br/>
Teaching Profession We Asked Teachers How They Want to Be Appreciated. Here's What They Said
All they need is respect, independence, a break, and a heartfelt word of thanks after a difficult year.
3 min read
Image shows a teacher in a classroom.
skynesher/E+
Teaching Profession New Teaching Jobs May Emerge With Continued Demand for Virtual Learning
As school districts plan for online learning to continue beyond the pandemic, they'll need teachers to staff those virtual classrooms.
4 min read