New Mexico’s Teacher Evaluation Lawsuit Underway: Day Two

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Following up on my most recent post, about the “Lawsuit in New Mexico Challenging [the] State’s Teacher Evaluation System,” I testified yesterday for four hours regarding the state’s new teacher evaluation model. As noted in both articles linked to below, I positioned this state’s model as one of the most “arbitrary and capricious” systems I’ve seen across all states currently working with or implementing such systems, again, as incentivized via President Obama’s Race to the Top program and as required if states were to receive (and are to keep) the waivers excusing them from not meeting the previous requirement written into President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act of 2011, that all children would be academically proficient by the year 2014.

I positioned this teacher evaluation model as one of the most “arbitrary and capricious” systems I’ve seen across all states in that this state, unlike no other I have ever seen, because the state has worked very hard to make 100% of its teachers value-added eligible, while essentially pulling off-the-shelf, criterion- and norm-referenced tests and also developing (yet not satisfactorily vetting or validating) a series of end-of-course exams (EoCs) to do this. This also includes early childhood teachers using, for example, the norm-referenced DIBELS. Let us just say, for purposes of brevity, this (and many other of the state’s educational measurement actions in this regard) defy the Standards for Educational & Psychological Testing.

Nonetheless, the day’s testimony also included testimony from one high school science teacher who expressed his concerns about his evaluation outcomes, as well as the evaluation outcomes of his high school, science colleagues. The day ended with two hours of testimony given by the state’s model developer – Pete Goldschmidt – who is now an Associate Professor at California State University Northridge. Time ran out, however, before cross-examination.

For more information, though, I will direct you all to two articles that capture the main events or highlights of the day.

The author of the first article titled, “Experts differ on test-based evaluations at NM hearing,” fairly captures the events of the day, as well as the professional and collegial agreements and disagreements expressed to the judge by both Pete Goldschmidt and me.

The author of the second article titled, “Professor’s testimony: Teacher eval system ‘not ready for prime time,” however, was less fair. Nonetheless, for purposes of transparency, I include both articles for you all here, to also see how polarizing this topic can be (as many of us already know). I will say, though, that I liked the picture included in this latter article. Very Santa Fe-ish 😉

Day three of this trial will occur in Santa Fe next Thursday, during which Thomas Kane, an economics professor from Harvard University who also directed the $45 million worth of Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) studies for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and who has also been the subject of prior posts (see, for example, here, here and here) will testify. Also to testify will be Matthew Montaño, Educator Quality Division, New Mexico Public Education Department (PED).

Will keep you posted, again…

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