Gates MET value added debunking

Excellent initial rebuttal to the recently released self-serving Gates/MET “value added is great with other measurement methods thrown in!” Report.

School Finance 101

Not much time for a thorough review of the most recent release of the Gates MET project, but here are my first cut comments on the major problems with the report. The take home argument of the report seems to be that their proposed teacher evaluation models are sufficiently reliable for prime time use and that the preferred model should include about 33 to 50% test score based statistical modeling of teacher effectiveness coupled with at least two observations on every teacher. They come to this conclusion by analyzing data on 3,000 or so teachers across multiple cities.  They arrive at the 33 to 50% figure, coupled with two observations, by playing a tradeoff game. They find – as one might expect – that prior value added of a teacher is still the best predictor of itself a year later… but that when the weight on observations is increased, the…

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Finance 101 rheeport

Excellent analysis of the meaninglessness of being ranked high by Students First. If anything, getting high marks in education progress from this group is like getting a human rights award from Adolf Hitler.

School Finance 101

On Monday, the organization Students First came out with their state policy rankings, just in time to promote their policy agenda in state legislatures across the country. Let’s be clear, Students First’s state policy rankings are based on a list of what Students First thinks states should do. It’s entirely about their political preferences – largely reformy policies – template stuff that has been sweeping the reformiest states over the past few years. I’ll have more to say about these preferred policies at the end of this post.

Others have already pointed out that Students First gave good grades to states like Louisiana and Florida, and crummy grades to states like New Jersey or Massachusetts – but that states like Louisiana have notoriously among the worst school systems – lowest test scores – in the nation – whereas states like New Jersey and Massachusetts have pretty darn good test scores…

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