Should your evaluation be based on your students' test scores?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Tyler B., Apr 11, 2014.

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  1. jhonyyon

    jhonyyon New Member

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    Apr 13, 2014

    i think this is right .
     
  2. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Well, I wasn't actually attributing 100% of our success rate to the test prep. Instead, I was countering your assertion that schools that teach to the test do poorly. If test prep is ineffective, though, then I think the entire test-prep industry is pretty misguided as is everyone from the countless parents who spend big money on SAT test-prep courses that help their kids game the SATs to all the aspiring teachers who purchase test prep books before taking praxis exams.

    So while I have no doubt that the excellent teachers in my school go a long way towards our high test grades, I also firmly believe that the time we spend on test prep helps a lot too. Unfortunately, that time could be spent on a lot of other things as well other than test prep but the scores are too important.
     
  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I never said they did poorly. I said that in my opinion test prep is less effective than authentically learning the material.

    So in an elementary classroom material should be spiraled consistently, adding depth and complexity to the same standards as the year progresses. In my opinion, doing this removes the need to shut down your class for 2 months and do drill and kill test prep for 2 months.

    Your experiences may be different than mine, the really good high achieving teachers that I know/knew never really talked, worried about tests. They were always confident they were teaching with depth and complexity and expected their students to show that understanding on simpler multiple choice tests.
     
  4. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Exactly. The idea of being compensated and recognized based on merit instead of some arbitrary measure that has nothing to do with effectiveness (degrees/years of experience) has never motivated someone to be more innovative, work more efficiently, or plan more effectively to achieve goals.

    /sarcasm

    Gee, that's exactly the opposite of what the previous study, done by world-renowned economists, say!

    Could it be that your experiences aren't indicative of the norm, just like your absurd claim that the vast majority of people "never negotiate pay in the real world" wasn't indicative of the norm?
     
  5. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Apr 13, 2014

    Source that it's failed peer-review?
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    So how much more money would you need to start caring more about your students or working harder to improve their learning?
     
  7. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Apr 13, 2014

    Other studys supporting merit pay come from University of Arkansas by a researcher whose funding comes completely from the Walton Foundation - one of the biggest proponents of merit pay, vouchers and state-supported private charters.

    Sometimes knowing the bias of the source is enough to discredit an anti-public education "study".

    However in the case of the study you cited, it's been widely discredited from other researchers in the same field of study.
     
  8. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    I see no wide discrediting in the link. I do, however, see a link to one review by someone who, if we're going to discuss associations as bias, is most certainly biased:

    " The second cornerstone, what a worker earns, is not based on the value of an individual’s contribution to production, which the author contends is a flawed concept; wages are determined by the power workers possess or do not possess at the bargaining table, and Adler points to CEOs’ obscene compensation, which he concludes is awarded because they work for shareholders who are too numerous and lack control."

    Yeah, he seems like a reliable source to be taken over well known and respected economists in the original study. :lol:
     
  9. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Your response makes no sense.

    But this is consistent with VAM. One of my favorite examples is the Florida teacher, Kim Cook, who was her school's Teacher of the Year the same year she recieved an unsatisfactory evaluation. She's a first grade teacher in a K - 3 school whose evaluations depend on a group of students in a nearby 4 - 5 school. After teaching at her school for 3 years, she'd never even met the students whose scores determined her evaluation. Then suddenly, the students at the 4 -5 school did well on their test so she got an extra $400. She'd never had any of those kids in her class.

    Yeah. Tell me VAM works.
     
  10. teacherbatman

    teacherbatman Companion

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    I'd also like to know.

    Why would you ever look to an economist on the issue of merit pay? To an economist, the ONLY THING that motivates people, and makes the world go 'round, is money. Of course... anyone with a shred of humanity knows this is completely bogus.

    OBVIOUSLY, an economist will say "MORE MONEY = MORE MOTIVATION." In fact, if they don't, their science kinda falls apart. Are we talking about bias?

    This issue falls under the domain of the psychology/humanities, NOT economics...

    Also interesting, when education itself is guided by economics, as opposed to psychology/humanities, it also falls apart...
     
  11. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    On the topic of merit pay, I think people should read the book DRIVE. Completely changed my view of the topic, as so many of the examples made sense to me and applied to my experiences....very very insightful book.
     
  12. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    I think I read that book. Can you give me an example of one of the examples, so I can see if I can pull that book out of the depths of my brain? Sorry, either I read too many books or my memory is going!!
     
  13. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    One point was that you have to take pay off the table. Your employees have to make a wage that they are "happy" with, at that point pay is not really an incentive anymore.

    So for example, i am happy with my pay scale, I have a livable wage and have essentially no complaints about my wages. Merit pay or raises will no longer motivate me to work harder or better.

    Another example that really struck me was incentives used for productivity. That offering rewards for "things" that require "thinking or creativity" may actually stifle the persons thinking and reduce their ability to solve problems.
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    That all makes sense to me. I'm not claiming to be all teachers, but I don't feel like financial incentives would make me do more than I'm already doing. I'll never turn down a pay raise, but I'm already putting in what I'd consider to be maximum effort.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Isn't that where negotiating comes in...

    A wage that you may be happy with I may think is way too low.

    Some take the job because they want to teach, but they aren't happy with the pay. Then there is a tug about how hard they should work because in that case pay is still on the table in their mind even though they have no control over it in the current situation for many teachers.

    Since there are often many applicants for the open teaching jobs, couldn't we say pay is really off the table at this point. If it is, why is there a clamoring for more pay by many?
     
  16. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I would say when pay is taken off the table is a very personal issue, and IS still on the table for many. DRIVE would say that is the first issue that needs to be dealt with before you can deal with other ways to motivate people.

    Imo, it is very clear that in a job like teaching, merit pay will have the opposite effect, it will actually reduce the creative thinking and effectiveness of the teachers...not improve it. This is why before reading the book I would be in favor of merit pay, and now I am opposed to it. I am not opposed to teachers making more money, but using incentives such as pay, may actually have the opposite effect.

    I honestly think a teachers wage should be a livable wage(mine is, hence I am very happy). Teachers also need to be honest with what is a public pay scale. If you really want a huge house, sports car, trips to Europe....be honest with yourself, teaching is not likely to provide this.

    For me, they could offer me a 100% pay raise for my awesome work, it would get nothing more out of me, I love my job and my pay is great.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    What does DRIVE say people do when pay is still on the table? Did it address this issue? Should we have another thread for DRIVE discussion?

    I see how merit pay can cause work issues when someone is already working to his potential. It can't cause someone to work harder. But if pay is on the table for many and it impacts work habits negatively, what does merit pay do?
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    It would make me resent a colleague that was only pretending to care about their students in hopes of making more money, and it would make me hope that my child never ended up in their class.
     
  19. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    DRIVE says that you absolutely 100% have to deal with pay first.If I remember right, it says you HAVE to remove it from the table.

    My interpretation is that merit pay will have a negative effect on "working hard or effectively". I would say you want to deal with a straight salary.

    Merit pay would work great according to the book(my interpretation) if if was a very "simple" mundane activity, can't think of the words, but would not be effective with work that requires creative problem solving.
     
  20. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Just wondering; if your pay was decreased, would you still work as hard as you are working now? Or would a loss in wages change your work effort/ethic?

    I somewhat agree with you and others about pay increases. A pay increase would not get me to put more effort into my teaching, but it would make me more willing to do the extras - such as helping to organize school events and leading clubs - anything done before or after contracted work hours. AKA overtime. I do some of these things are free because I have to, not because I want to.
     
  21. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    They did reduce my pay for maybe 3 or 4 years, during the economic "crisis" did not effect my attitude really at all..now that is likely because it was in the contract to be restored. However, I would still work hard regardless of lowering my pay, my attitude would change about the things you describe such as after school activities.

    See. You would prolly do those after school activities if their were other incentives, pay is not the only incentive....the book goes into some of it. It isn't a book for education, the book would say things like if you are really doing your job in 4 days instead of 5, then you should be off the 5th day(paid of course).

    If they reduced my pay to the point where it was a problem, then I would likely move on. I sat on a picket line for over 5 months at a job I didn't like, I no longer play the I am unhappy at work "game".

    However, this doesn't have anything to do with merit pay. Merit pay, imo(due to DRIVE), has the illusion of motivating people to work better, while it actually has the opposite effect. This is in respect to activities that require problem solving and creativity.

    If you are unhappy with pay at your job, that issue does have to be solved, merit pay is not the answer imo.
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I'm trying to digest the "pretending to care" comment. This suggests to me, although I may be wrong, that you believe those teachers that are working their contracted hours and not going above and beyond to make sure that every single student is progressing to the highest ability does not care.

    Some do believe, since pay is on the table, that they won't sacrifice their life for their job because it doesn't pay enough or they need to work another job to make ends meet. Does this mean they don't care?
     
  23. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    In teaching, what other incentive is there other than pay or some type of monetary compensation?
     
  24. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    If they aren't giving all that they would consider reasonable to do, solely because of money... well...
     
  25. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    OK, now I understand what you meant.

    Shouldn't they be fired then since they aren't doing what would be considered reasonable for the job?
     
  26. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    That is what would need to be explored.

    For me, I love when the principal provides lunch or breakfast for the staff.
     
  27. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    That's up to administrators to figure out. I'd prefer my child not have such a teacher though.
     
  28. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Positive work environment
    Job security
    Heck, give me a jeans day and I'm all smiles :p
     
  29. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Oh yeah, job security, that is a great one.

    How nice was it for those teaching in a high population district with over 20 years experience to not have any worry of being pink slipped during the financial crisis.
     
  30. teacherbatman

    teacherbatman Companion

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    Helping students learn?

    See: Grades.
     
  31. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Exactly. This is exactly why this book was so good for me.

    This is one of the reasons why I never talk about "getting an "grade"".

    I always talk about doing what good students do, working hard, checking your work, using strategies, taking your time...grades take care of themselves...same with tests.

    Grades are not an incentive in my class.
     
  32. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    The union covers the last two for me and I don't view either as a reason or incentive to work harder.

    Now, a positive work environment may be an incentive but this looks different to different people so it becomes impossible to negotiate/determine. For some, a very involved Admin is considered a "positive" for others, not so much.
     
  33. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Free food is an incentive for you? This gets you to work harder?

    Actually, I hate when Admin provides food for afterschool or evening staff events or at lunchtime and then they tell us they have no more copy paper or something else we need. They can't afford anymore, they claim.

    You provide our large staff with catered lunches but have no more copy paper? No, just no.
     
  34. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yes, free food is a motivator for me, thats EXACTLY what I wrote.

    I never insinuated it was a motivator for you.
     
  35. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Horrible moderating, moving an active thread to the wasteland.
     
  36. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I love free food, but our admin never tells us they don't have money for something.

    Free food and other perks help create a more positive work environment. It lets me know my admin appreciates us. Thus, I will work harder. I love getting just simple praise for doing a great job.
     
  37. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I hate this board so much. It wouldn't be so awful if topics would be allowed to stay open here. Easily the worst part about these forums, which I generally enjoy.
     
  38. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Yes maybe an active thread but completely off-topic. You stopped talking about evaluations pages ago.
     
  39. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Right, like every other thread, and not really off topic as it was discussing the benefits and issues with merit pay.

    I believe that the people participating in the thread were having a good and vibrant discussion, but your right let's shut it down.

    Oh yeah, not too mention according to you it was off topic FOUR DAYS AGO!!!!
     
  40. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I don't understand... how is it shut down if people are still responding? Isn't it still open to everyone? I can see it on my "new posts" list...
     
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