Teaching Profession

When Value-Added Evaluations Meet Cheating Allegations

By Liana Loewus — July 18, 2011 1 min read
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By now you’ve read that more than 200 teachers were fired in Washington based on their results under an evaluation system known as IMPACT. (We’ve been inundated with news on this here in the D.C. area.)

You’ll also remember that a number of D.C. public schools are being investigated for allegations of cheating on standardized tests between 2008 and 2010.

So, I’m wondering how the intersection of these two events has (or has not) affected individual teachers. Value-added scores determine teacher effectiveness by looking at student growth on test scores from year to year. Were student test scores from schools where the cheating investigations are ongoing used to evaluate teachers? Let’s say a student came from a school that had a high number of erasures in previous years, and that student’s scores dropped dramatically in 2011. Is his or her 2011 teacher held accountable for the decline? Has DCPS found a way to take possible cheating into account?

I’ve contacted DCPS about the issue and am waiting to hear back. I’d like to hear from teachers on this as well (especially those from D.C.). And are teachers in Atlanta, where the cheating investigation has been more conclusive, dealing with similar implications?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.