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Educational value add

  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by dansande
    They conclude that the research base is currently insufficient to support the use of VAM for high-stakes decisions about individual teachers or schools.'
    wasn't that 7 years ago and only a couple of years after the 'no child left behind' policy changes that made more use of value add data?

    If you read later reports they do suggest that managers / policy makers aren't using the data effectively.

    RAND | (Technical) Reports | Value-Added Assessment in Practice: Lessons from the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System Pilot Project

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freetrader
    So, Hull, which one of us is the 'resident bigot'? I haven't seen any bigoted comments posted on this thread. Yet.

    Respectfully, I am a bit baffled by your comments. We can discuss the pros and cons of the LA approach, but nowhere in this five pages of thread has the methodology been discussed. The questions with the LA public school reports are two:

    1.) Is the information gathered by the LA schools in any way valid or helpful?

    2.) Was the LA Times correct in publishing the results?

    Much of these five pages of comments were posts by teachers who were offended at the idea that the public had been given access to this information, and the response of others to that suggestion. That is indeed the issue that has the school unions upset. I personally think that attitude is nonsense, but I think there is probably a good 'need to know vs. public servants doing their jobs without interference' discussion to have about that issue.

    Your comment seems to be focused on the methdology used by the LA school system to evaluate their own teachers. I am puzzled by your comment - exactly how is it open to error and abuse?

    I have personally always believed that the approach of calling 'schools' good or bad was wrongheaded and counterproductive. Schools serve communities and if the community is disadvantaged, the school will be also. Also, an approach that focuses on the schools can only target the school management, who don't teach - the presumption would be (and this is shared by the teachers unions) that teachers are a 'commodity' and there aren't any good or bad teachers, just good or bad schools; but the teachers do the teaching, and an approach that focuses on teachers is more to the point. Still, the issue of whether to 'rank' schools is completely separate from the issue of 'evaluating' teachers. It seems to me that the approach used in LA isn't really subject to abuse at all. It is objective and compares teachers with other teachers who work with similar (educationally, economically) students. One of the benefits of having such a large pool of teachers is that the data gathered can be 'statistically significant'. No one is suggesting that this data be the only input into evaluation of teacher performance, but it is useful nevertheless.

    Teachers naturally resist any rating system that focuses on individual teachers. That is just human nature, but the fact they don't like it is just too bad - it is for the consumers who pay the teachers to decide how to evaluate teacher performance.
    Sorry for the delay in replying, I am in that place with people who lack maturity, intelligence and education. That should answer your first question.

    I was asked for my opinion, I gave it. Simple as. I am in favour of inspecting schools as per the UK system and failing those who do not meet up to expectations (which obviously vary depending on intake). I am not in favour of publicly naming and shaming individual employees on less than perfect data. Private organisations do not do this and I do not think it is right to do it for public employees. The schools themselves should handle this internally, knowing full well that failure to deal with poor teachers could lead to their own dismissal. The managers will know all the background information and so can make a more accurate decision. If the LA system does not promote this then the effort should go into changing the culture and system IMO but as I know nothing about the LA education system I am not going to get involved in the detailed discussion.

  3. #73
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    Not sure the US should model after another country that is itself in an educational decline -

    Peter Mortimore on the decline of the UK's Pisa scores | Education | The Guardian

    Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and a handful of other countries appear to be the top performers in the last PISA education study (Singapore, Taiwan and Korea particularly good in Math/Science according to the below link). However, their education systems and culture had never gotten as hopeless as the US's. For the US, drastic measures are needed if there is any hope of change given the powerful teachers' unions.

    http://www.realonlinedegrees.com/edu...gs-by-country/

    Educational reform in the US is a must. With the powerful teachers' unions being the direct obstacle to changes and improvement, it is unfortunate that the politicians have been unable to implement much needed, long overdue steps and it has now come down to relying on the public to start the revolution. Obviously the Times rating is only a start, much reform is needed down the road.

    Don't agree this should be seen as naming and shaming (unless the objectors are bad teachers themselves), but rather naming and recognising (for the good teachers), as well as for increased transparency which generally result in greater benefits to the public. And in my opinion it should not be limited to teachers. If the public wants to know the performance of other public servants or service providers, they should have the right to know. Period.
    Last edited by paenme; 24-09-2010 at 07:02 PM.

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    You're right just get rid of the teacher's unions. All they do is protect pedophiles and bad teachers. The politicians have all the answers. They have the public interest at heart. After all, haven't the politicians don't such a good job of solving other problems in the good old USA?
    Things will be a lot better if we turn the clock back to the nineteenth century when teachers were not unionized in any part of the country. That way the local school boards could reimpose more reasonable, common sense terms of tenure upon teachers such as the following from a Massachusetts town around the turn of the (twentieth) century(when primary teaching was almost exclusively for women):
    1. Do not get married.
    2. Do not leave town any time without permission of the school board.
    3. Do not keep company with men.
    4. Be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
    5. Do not loiter downtown in ice cream stores,
    6. Do not smoke.
    7. Do not get into a carriage with any man except your father or brother.
    8. Do not dress in bright colors.
    9. Do not dye your hair.
    10. Do not wear any dress more than two inches above the ankle.
    (Source: Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States, NY, 1st Harper Perrenial, 1995, p. 330)
    Before we rush to destroy what is left of the supposedly omnipotent teacher's unions we should remember that rules like these are part of the reason they came into existence. As late as the 1950s teachers in Indiana were expected to resign immediately upon becoming pregnant. In some ways, Hong Kong schools are even more backward. A female teacher was recently awarded compensation by a local court for being forced to wear a dress for many years.
    You repeat the nauseating bromide that teacher's unions are the principal obstacle to needed educational reform in the United States. I disagree. Our national spending priorities are the major obstacle. We spend far more on destruction and killing than we do on education.
    Right-wing zealots have had their hearts set on destroying teacher's unions and even the entire system of public education for decades. With the recent financial crisis and state budget shortfalls they really have a golden opportunity to push their philistine agenda. Throughout the country, states have been laying off teachers left and right. In many jurisdictions, decisions about who to lay off have are not based on professional considerations; they are made to ensure that young teachers are let go before they are granted tenure.
    Furthermore, in many parts of the country, most teachers are not unionized. This is especially the case in the South. However, if unions were primarily to blame for poor academic achievement wouldn't parts of the country with lower union density show at least slightly better results. Why are academic results worse in the South, then? Obviously, one would rightly respond, it's not that simple. The causal link between exam results and union density is very complicated. At that point the union busters are left with nothing but bare accusation and anecdotal evidence to support their spurious contention that teacher's unions are the principal cause of student failure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dansande
    You're right just get rid of the teacher's unions. All they do is protect pedophiles and bad teachers. The politicians have all the answers. They have the public interest at heart.
    Wow. You are really deranged. If you can't even discuss a simple policy question (and not even policy question: the issue is simply the public reporting of the results of the analysis) without going completely nuts, I am afraid that you don't have a lot of credibility about anything. I think I'm done here.

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    I'm not sure which comment of mine indicates derangement according to you so I am guessing it's either the comment about pedophilia or just an assumption that anyone who disagrees with you is insane. If it's the former, I remind you that you brought it up, not me: 'It is almost literally impossible to be fired in LA-and this includes several teachers who are on administrative leave for repeatedly "touching students inappropriately." ' This comment clearly insinuates that the LA teacher's union protects child abusers.

    Now, when people make serious accusations like those they should generally back them up with evidence if they want to be taken seriously. If the evidence is not forthcoming they should have the decency to retract the statement. Another option is to make baseless accusations and scurry away like a rat.

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    I am glad that you are here to represent the bad teachers and show the world clearly why the US education system is failing. You have so far demonstrated only how incapable you are in logical thinking and taking responsibilities, both are critical in educating our future generations.

    Quote Originally Posted by dansande
    You're right just get rid of the teacher's unions. All they do is protect pedophiles and bad teachers. The politicians have all the answers. They have the public interest at heart. After all, haven't the politicians don't such a good job of solving other problems in the good old USA?
    For the nth time, no one said politicians are doing a good job with education. But we can agree that getting rid of the politicians at this stage is likely to do very little to help education, as long as the the bad teachers and the unions continue to be in the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by dansande
    Things will be a lot better if we turn the clock back to the nineteenth century when teachers were not unionized in any part of the country. That way the local school boards could reimpose more reasonable, common sense terms of tenure upon teachers such as the following from a Massachusetts town around the turn of the (twentieth) century(when primary teaching was almost exclusively for women):
    1. Do not get married.
    2. Do not leave town any time without permission of the school board.
    3. Do not keep company with men.
    4. Be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
    5. Do not loiter downtown in ice cream stores,
    6. Do not smoke.
    7. Do not get into a carriage with any man except your father or brother.
    8. Do not dress in bright colors.
    9. Do not dye your hair.
    10. Do not wear any dress more than two inches above the ankle.
    (Source: Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States, NY, 1st Harper Perrenial, 1995, p. 330)
    Before we rush to destroy what is left of the supposedly omnipotent teacher's unions we should remember that rules like these are part of the reason they came into existence. As late as the 1950s teachers in Indiana were expected to resign immediately upon becoming pregnant. In some ways, Hong Kong schools are even more backward. A female teacher was recently awarded compensation by a local court for being forced to wear a dress for many years.
    Again a clear attitude from a teacher who only thinks along the line of "me, I and myself", when will you start comparing yourself with the effective, performing and as a result well respected teachers from countries like Finland, Japan and Korea? And are you suggesting the unions are the reason we have advanced since a century ago? If so I wonder how those effective and competent teachers in other countries survive and get to where they are today without unions. How about the other non-unionized professions like the doctors, lawyers, engineers and CPAs, how did they ever get to where they are without unions' protection?

    Quote Originally Posted by dansande
    You repeat the nauseating bromide that teacher's unions are the principal obstacle to needed educational reform in the United States. I disagree. Our national spending priorities are the major obstacle. We spend far more on destruction and killing than we do on education.
    This is yet the most laughable point you've made so far. When you consider overall public and private fundings, the US' spending per capita on education is already the highest in the world, yet our students' performances continue to flatten and deteriorate. And your answer is to spend more? So we can pay teachers like you more and obtain in return even worse cost effectiveness? What a joke! Sure, US military budget is at 20% and you may argue there is room for that to come down, but lady, even if the military budget comes down, you have no convincing case of allocating additonal budget to education which is just a big black hole right now. Don't even get me started on the waste on healthcare, again by far the highest spending per capita in the world but Americans' life expectancy is somehow much shorter than that in Japan and Hong Kong! Go figure.

    Quote Originally Posted by dansande
    Right-wing zealots have had their hearts set on destroying teacher's unions and even the entire system of public education for decades. With the recent financial crisis and state budget shortfalls they really have a golden opportunity to push their philistine agenda. Throughout the country, states have been laying off teachers left and right. In many jurisdictions, decisions about who to lay off have are not based on professional considerations; they are made to ensure that young teachers are let go before they are granted tenure.
    Dstroying the teachers' union = destroying public education? Sorry, don't understand the equation, unless by "public education" you mean "interests of the incompetent teachers". To the rest of us "public education" should mean "interests and well learning of the students". Agree with the last point though, decisions in teacher promotion/terminations should be based on performance, not senority. I understand that is currently a controversial issue being looked at.

    Quote Originally Posted by dansande
    Furthermore, in many parts of the country, most teachers are not unionized. This is especially the case in the South. However, if unions were primarily to blame for poor academic achievement wouldn't parts of the country with lower union density show at least slightly better results. Why are academic results worse in the South, then? Obviously, one would rightly respond, it's not that simple. The causal link between exam results and union density is very complicated. At that point the union busters are left with nothing but bare accusation and anecdotal evidence to support their spurious contention that teacher's unions are the principal cause of student failure.
    Singling out the performance of the small population of the Southern un-unionized teachers' does not prove your case. The poor culture created from the teachers' unions and the education system over the decades has been cultivated too deep and far. This is why drastic reforms or even revolution is needed for real changes. If the US wants to recover and reform successfully and be able to compete in the 21st century, it must get rid of the unions, not just the teachers' imo. The unions are bankrupting the US and we all can see it coming. Let's face it, the blue collar jobs are not going to come back, people need to re-train for high skilled labor in order for the country to transform. Any nations that can recognize this earlier and act accordingly will come out ahead in the next millenium.
    Last edited by paenme; 25-09-2010 at 05:25 PM.

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    Do you have any actual facts to support your assertion that teachers in Finland, Japan, and Korea do a better job than their counterparts in the United States? Are you arguing that there is a positive causal link between lack of unionization and student performance? Furthermore, you also claim that the US spends more per capita on public? education than any other country? Do you care to back that up with a citation? The same goes for your claim that military spending is only '20 percent'. Twenty percent of the national budget? Where did you get the figures? Furthermore, you cite no evidence to support the claim that further spending on public education would be money down the drain. However, there is research which indicates the opposite. A RAND corporation study indicated that money spent on programs designed to lower the high-school drop out rate yielded quantifiable benefits to taxpayers (www.rand.org/pubs/monograph/MG686).
    You make the all the old arguments about unions ruining America. Please realize that the US has had one of the lowest union density rates in the industrialized world for decades now. It's hard to make a case that they're responsible for things like the current recession.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dansande
    Do you have any actual facts to support your assertion that teachers in Finland, Japan, and Korea do a better job than their counterparts in the United States? Are you arguing that there is a positive causal link between lack of unionization and student performance? Furthermore, you also claim that the US spends more per capita on public? education than any other country? Do you care to back that up with a citation? The same goes for your claim that military spending is only '20 percent'. Twenty percent of the national budget? Where did you get the figures? Furthermore, you cite no evidence to support the claim that further spending on public education would be money down the drain. However, there is research which indicates the opposite. A RAND corporation study indicated that money spent on programs designed to lower the high-school drop out rate yielded quantifiable benefits to taxpayers (www.rand.org/pubs/monograph/MG686).
    You make the all the old arguments about unions ruining America. Please realize that the US has had one of the lowest union density rates in the industrialized world for decades now. It's hard to make a case that they're responsible for things like the current recession.
    Must I do all the research for you? Who's the teacher here? How long have you been in HK and do you even read newspapers? SCMP had an article just in the last week or two showing US military being about 20% despite all the left wing propaganda articles you read that try to make fools like you to believe it's 50%. Below is just one of many links easily found to show US military budget at less than 20%. And I should remind you this is only the federal budget, if you look at the total federal, state and local budgets, the ratio goes down a lot since the state and local budgets mostly go to other types of spending, mostly on education and entitlements (another can of worms).

    2010 United States federal budget - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Here is a link showing the education spending per capita by country, and bear in mind the numbers only include public funds (US private funding on education is a lot higher than other countries) and the data is from 2001 and the US education spend has increased hugely over the last decade.

    Spending per secondary school student statistics - countries compared - NationMaster

    If you insist on quoting RAND, then I guess you should also take a look at Foundry to get a balanced view:

    Lessons for Congress about Education Spending | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    Ask yourself why other education systems and teachers in the world can do a much better job costing far less but US, with all its power and resources, can't?

    Your last argument is rather pathetic to be honest. Wake up and see why even when now the economy started to recover somewhat that the unemployment rate (mainly in the low skilled fields) remains stagnant. Unions are not serving US' interests and certainly are not serving the American people's (including their member') interests in the long run. The sooner airheads like you can wise up, the sooner US can get back on the right track.
    Last edited by paenme; 25-09-2010 at 06:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dansande
    I'm not sure which comment of mine indicates derangement according to you so I am guessing it's either the comment about pedophilia or just an assumption that anyone who disagrees with you is insane. If it's the former, I remind you that you brought it up, not me: 'It is almost literally impossible to be fired in LA-and this includes several teachers who are on administrative leave for repeatedly "touching students inappropriately." ' This comment clearly insinuates that the LA teacher's union protects child abusers.

    Now, when people make serious accusations like those they should generally back them up with evidence if they want to be taken seriously. If the evidence is not forthcoming they should have the decency to retract the statement. Another option is to make baseless accusations and scurry away like a rat.
    I say again, wow. There was more than one case of a teacher who was doing innappropriate things to students in class, and were placed on administrative leave, including one who repeatedly (actually let's not go into details)...

    These are well-known cases. If you are actually deranged enough to deny that happened, then it exposes, once again, the derangement of your position.

    You aren't going to win this argument. Not every teacher is perfect, and not everything the teacher's unions want is beneficial for society or for their students. To argue that any criticism of teacher's or their unions is 'right wing' propaganda simply shows how difficult reform is when an entrenched interest group is in a position to stifle it.
    paenme likes this.

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