Virtual School Meanderings

October 2, 2016

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature…

Worth A Read

Can student test scores provide useful measures of school principals’ performance?

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 09:00 PM PDT

“A new report from the Institute of Education Sciences [completed by researchers at Mathematica Policy Research] examines the accuracy of test-based measures of principal performance that could be implemented broadly. The study assessed the predictive validity of these measures—the extent to which ratings from these measures accurately reflect principals’ contributions to student achievement in future years. These findings suggest that states and districts should exercise caution when using these measures to make major decisions about principals.”

Elizabeth Warren Clarifies The Charter Schools Debate

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 09:00 PM PDT

Jeff Bryant explores recent comments by Sen. Elizabeth Warren regarding Question 2 in Massachusetts. Question 2 calls for lifting the cap on the number of charters in Massachusetts. Bryant says, “Senator Warren’s opposition to Question 2 is proof the car wreck is happening.”

The Bubble Bursts: The 2015 Opt-Out Movement in New Jersey

Posted: 27 Sep 2016 09:00 PM PDT

A new report  from Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) analyzes the scope, factors, and context of the opt-out movement that occurred in New Jersey in the spring of 2015. “Using test participation data released in February 2016 by the New Jersey Department of Education, we found that approximately 135,000 students did not take the state assessment in the spring of 2015. Depending on how it was calculated, this represented between 11-19% of the population of students eligible for testing in grades 3 to 11 in the state. There was also a positive correlation between higher district opt-out rates and wealthier districts.”

New Study: Principals Play a Large Role in Teacher Retention

Posted: 22 Sep 2016 09:00 PM PDT

Brenda Iasevoli reports on a new study by Susan Burkhauser, ‘How Much Do School Principals Matter When It Comes to Teacher Working Conditions?,’ published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. “What’s new about Burkhauser’s study is that it suggests that a teacher’s perception of working conditions is closely related to his or her perception of the principal. That is, the way a teacher sees her principal can shape the way she perceives conditions in the school, even before any changes are made, and regardless of what else is going on in the school or district.”

The Details Matter In Teacher Evaluations

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 09:00 PM PDT

Matthew Di Carlo unpacks a recent working paper by Matthew Steinberg and Matthew Kraft. “Steinberg and Kraft use data from the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, and, after adjusting the measures for comparability, they simulate how different weights and cutpoints would affect final results of evaluations in eight large school districts. The simulated evaluation systems include observations, value-added scores, and student surveys. They also examine discrepancies in results caused by observations conducted principals versus those done by external observers.”

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