Why High Stakes Testing Should Not Be Used Essay
In this article, Wayne Au gives research-supported claims to why high-stakes testing should not be used to evaluate teachers. He correctly states that effective teaching cannot be equated with higher test scores. In his article he elaborates on six key flaws of using testing like VAM to evaluate teachers. When using a test to measure teacher effectiveness, there is a statistical error rate of 35 percent when using one year’s worth of data, which would cause many to be misevaluated. Naturally, the test scores of students depend ultimately upon the students themselves, so year after year as students go through a teacher’s classroom the test scores can fluctuate greatly. Also impacting the test scores is outside factors that are out of the teacher’s control, like if the student ate breakfast that morning or if the student is coming from an unstable home. If a teacher teaches classes for gifted students, they will appear more effective than a teacher who teaches special education, which makes it an unfair assessment. Lastly, the author points out that it is nearly impossible to determine which teacher caused the success of failure of a student on these high-stakes tests. Overall, Au provides evidence that it is unfair to evaluate teachers on factors that are outside of their control with a test that has inaccurate results.
Berlak, Harold. Race and the Achievement Gap.
In this article, Harold Berlak brings to light the truth…