kitchen table math, the sequel: APPR Q&A

Thursday, June 13, 2013


A friend of mine estimates that my tiny district is going to spend around $1 million on APPR alone.

My entire state has gone crazy.



SteveH said...

"...teachers and principals across New York state will now be given a number grade at the end of every year that represents their effectiveness rating..."

"Teachers will receive a score in each evaluation area and a cumulative score, broken down as follows:"

Observations and evidence: 60 possible points
Student growth: 20-25 possible points
Student achievement: + 15-20 possible points
Total score: 100 possible points

"Q: How will teachers be evaluated?
A: The details of the evaluation process will be determined locally by districts, but all K-12 teachers in the state will be evaluated in three areas: classroom observations and evidence, student growth and student achievement."

"For teachers at Capital Region BOCES, the observation component, which evaluates classroom practices, will consist of two observations, one formal announced observation (40 percent of the total observation score) and one unannounced observation (60 percent of the total observation score). The unannounced observation will allow administrators and teachers to gather a greater breadth of evidence that reflects the teacher’s role in the quality of school programs."

"The student growth component evaluates student progress toward learning targets and is measured in one of two ways. Some teachers will receive a state-provided growth score from SED, a numerical score comparing student progress on state assessments year-to-year as compared to similar students throughout the state. For teachers in grades or disciplines without state assessments, the growth score will be determined by student progress toward Student Learning Objective (SLO) targets set at the beginning of the school year. In these cases, growth will be evaluated through baseline performance data, benchmarks to assess progress, and end-of-year growth targets for each student."

"The student achievement component measures individual student achievement on state-approved, locally-selected evaluations. Special Ed and CTE each have established measures of student achievement in place: STAR enterprise, NYS core subject assessments, NYSAA and NYSSLAT, and NOCTI – 21st Century Skills Assessment."

Live by the rubric and die by the rubric. It would be funny if it didn't cost so much, and it won't fix systemic problems. Teachers will be evaluated on how well they follow the curriculum and philosophical line, and the evaluation process will be defined locally. Why secretly teach math facts when that affects only 15-20 percent of your rating? This is an evaluation of pedagogy, not results.

And this presumes full inclusion. All performance results are tied to relative indicators and very low absolute cutoff points. This won't fix problems that they choose to ignore.

This is one more justification for school choice. Parents are better able to figure out a rubric for their individual kids than educational pedagogues who only care about minimal cutoff statistics. Parents, as stakeholders, have once again been left out of the loop.

SteveH said...

"All statistical calculations contain some uncertainty. While the reported MGP [Mean student Growth Percentile] is the most likely result for any teacher, we can also quantify mathematically a range in which we can be 95% sure that the “true” answer lies."

The "true" answer to what? Ignore basic assumptions and pedagogy issues and use statistics to talk about "true" stuff.

They will never fix fundamental flaws in the system with this approach.