WHEREAS in an otherwise laudable effort to improve students’ educational outcomes, many school districts are looking for easy answers to the complicated task of evaluating and increasing teacher effectiveness, and
WHEREAS rather than developing comprehensive teacher evaluation strategies that emphasize peer evaluation, professional development, constructive performance reviews, and cooperative sharing of best practices, some so-called education “reformers” have promoted the use of “value-added” formulas, which compare students’ scores on standardized tests from the previous year to their scores at the end of the school year, and assign a numerical score to a teacher’s performance, followed in some cases by publishing those scores for public review, and
WHEREAS “value-added” evaluation is a highly imprecise and unreliable tool, unable to accurately separate out a teacher’s performance from factors beyond his or her control, which often unfairly tars teachers as “underperforming” when in fact the same teacher has scored highly in previous years, and focusing on this single number to the exclusion of other factors in a child’s educational experience can confuse parents, depress school morale, destroy careers, incentivize cheating, and lead to perverse and wrongheaded strategies for improvement,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley (DPSFV) supports the creation and implementation of constructive, holistic teacher evaluation strategies, while opposing the use of value-added testing scores as the sole means of evaluating teachers, and opposes the public dissemination via media or school administration of individual teachers’ value-added scores, and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DPSFV will communicate this position to Valley LAUSD Boardmembers, Superintendent John Deasy, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, the Ranking Democratic members of the Senate and House Education Committees, and the Chairs of the Assembly and Senate Education Committees.