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When Rhetoric Trumps Reality: Test-based Teacher Evaluations

  • Broadcast in Education
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Our guest on May 15 is Dr. Elaine Weiss, National Coordinator-Broader, Bolder Approach (BBA) to Education Campaign at the Economic Policy Institute.  She is co-author of a ground-breaking report on the impact of test-based teacher evaluations in DC, NYC and Chicago.

Some of the Key Findings:  
- Test scores increased less, and achievement gaps grew more, in “reform” cities than in other urban districts.
 - Reported successes for targeted students evaporated upon closer examination.
 - Test-based accountability prompted churn that thinned the ranks of experienced teachers, but not necessarily bad teachers.
 - School closures did not send students to better schools or save school districts money.
- Charter schools further disrupted the districts while providing mixed benefits, particularly for the highest-needs students.
- Emphasis on the widely touted market-oriented reforms drew attention and resources from initiatives with greater promise.

Elaine has been national coordinator of BBA since 2011. Her public policy background has focused on early childhood education, specifically on policy mechanisms to help low-in- come families and children escape poverty. In her role with BBA, Weiss has co- ordinated and led events at the Economic Policy Institute and on Capitol Hill, developed research and advocacy materials, launched a social media presence for BBA, and worked with numerous allied organizations to increase the vis- ibility of comprehensive strategies in education policy. Elaine has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in public policy from the George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Administration.
Join us for a robust discussion of these issues on May 15 at 2pm EST.