Why yes, it just did.

The models on which teachers evaluations are tied, are pure junk.

From New York State’s own technical report….

Despite the model conditioning on prior year test scores, schools and teachers with students who had higher prior year test scores, on average, had higher MGPs. Teachers of classes with higher percentages of economically disadvantaged students had lower MGPs.

In other words, it doesn’t matter who the teacher is. What matters is the class. If you are teaching affluent students, you are rated highly; if you are in an economic disadvantaged school, you are rated poorly.

Therefore firing all teachers with low scores, means you constantly replace new teachers into bad schools, keeping even bad teachers in good schools. Therefore the process is flawed.

The problem is this glaring data, gets whitewashed by administrators pursuing their war on teachers.

As per New York’s now famous John King: “The model selected to estimate growth scores for New York State provides a fair and accurate method for estimating individual teacher and principal effectiveness based on specific regulatory requirements for a “growth model” in the 2011-2012 school year.”

“Concerned about what they were seeing, Lower Hudson Valley superintendents commissioned an outside analysis of data on their teachers and schools provided by the state. Here is a recent Lower Hudson Valley news summary of the findings of that report:

But the study found that New York did not adequately weigh factors like poverty when measuring students’ progress.

“We find it more common for teachers of higher-achieving students to be classified as ‘Effective’ than other teachers,” the study said. “Similarly, teachers with a greater number of students in poverty tend to be classified as ‘Ineffective’ or ‘Developing’ more frequently than other teachers.”

Andrew Rice, a researcher who worked on the study, said New York was dealing with common challenges that arise when trying to measure teacher impact amid political pressures.

Our most effective teachers are at schools that already have high proficiency rates….

What this means in plain language, is that when a teacher gets called in to go over the results of her evaluation, after you strip all the bull from the argument, it goes like this….

You are unacceptable because you taught in a high poverty school. Or, you are one of our best teachers, because you taught children who’s parents were rich….

The DSEA needs to fight this concept a lot harder this year. As a system, is it extremely flawed.

We are concerned that we have spent countless hours and millions and millions of dollars to produce results that are not comparable across the state and do not inform teacher practice or student learning.