Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

‘Value Added’ Measures for Teachers’ Impact

May 11, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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


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.
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga 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.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Reframing Behavior: Neuroscience-Based Practices for Positive Support
Reframing Behavior helps teachers see the “why” of behavior through a neuroscience lens and provides practices that fit into a school day.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute
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.
Mathematics Webinar
Math for All: Strategies for Inclusive Instruction and Student Success
Looking for ways to make math matter for all your students? Gain strategies that help them make the connection as well as the grade.
Content provided by NMSI

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 An Unexpected Effect of Teacher Strikes on How Much Schools Spend
Districts where strikes took place saw average per-pupil funding grow. But that wasn't the only impact of educator strikes.
4 min read
An empty school classroom with chairs and desks overlaid with an illustrated professional standing on a percentage mark holding an arrow above it.
Teaching Profession From Our Research Center Here's What Teachers Think Their Salaries Should Be
Superintendents and principals also gave the salaries they think they deserve.
2 min read
Teacher at a chalkboard.
Teaching Profession Teachers, Tame the 'Sunday Scaries'
Many teachers feel a real dread of the pending workweek. Here's how to cope.
4 min read
Image of a weekly calendar with a sticky with a stressed face icon.
Laura Baker/Education Week via Canva
Teaching Profession Opinion My Life as a Substitute Teacher in Suburbia: Chaos and Cruelty
I was ignorant of the reality until I started teaching, writes a recent college graduate.
Charrley Hudson
4 min read
3d Render Red & White Megaphone on textured background with an mostly empty speech bubble quietly asking for help.
iStock/Getty images