NEA's caution on test scores
My colleague Nick Anderson on the national education beat reports that the National Education Association shares many of the views American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten espoused this morning in a speech on teacher evaluation, test scores and discipline.
Still, the largest union seems a bit more cautious, rhetorically and substantively, than the second-largest.
"We have virtually identical policies in many ways," Segun Eubanks, the NEA's director of teacher quality, told Anderson in a telephone interview this afternoon after the AFT leader's speech. "You find a lot of alignment."
Eubanks added: "Clearly, how test scores may or may not be used is a place where many of our affiliates have a significant amount of concern."
It's worth noting that AFT affiliates share some of those concerns.
Eubanks said the NEA is open to discussing experiments in teacher evaluation systems that incorporate student test data as long as the data offer "authentic measures of student learning and student growth" and complement other types of assessment.
But he said that the national union's stance is that using state standardized test scores to make decisions regarding the effectiveness of teachers has yet to be proven effective. "We're not going to embrace something for which there is so little evidence yet," Eubanks said.
With the Obama administration pushing for the use of more data-driven school reform, this discussion is only beginning.
Read Jay's blog every day at http://washingtonpost.com/class-struggle.
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| January 12, 2010; 5:20 PM ET
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