Twenty states now use student performance in the early grades to assess teachers, yet current evaluation systems don’t provide an accurate picture of what’s happening in the classroom, asserts a study by the New America Foundation.
When linking outcomes from pre-K through 3rd grade directly to teaching, states must take into account the complexities of teaching young children, carefully pilot evaluation systems, and ensure that data accurately reflects teaching done in the early years, the report, “An Ocean of Unknowns: Risks and Opportunities in Using Student Achievement Data to Evaluate Pre-K-3rd Grade Teachers,” says.
Researchers looked at assessment systems in Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Rhode Island, and Tennessee as well as those in the cities of Austin, Texas, and the District of Columbia. They also examined the work done in Hillsborough County, Fla.
None of these systems gauges what the youngest students know well, the study states, nor can their results be applied to teacher performance.
A version of this article appeared in the May 22, 2013 edition of Education Week as Pre-K Tests No Gauge Of Teachers, Study Says