Matching Items (7)

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The Land of Disenchantment: Bias in New Mexico Teacher Evaluation Measures

Description

Over the past 20 years in the United States (U.S.), teachers have seen a marked

shift in how teacher evaluation policies govern the evaluation of their performance.

Spurred by federal

Over the past 20 years in the United States (U.S.), teachers have seen a marked

shift in how teacher evaluation policies govern the evaluation of their performance.

Spurred by federal mandates, teachers have been increasingly held accountable for their

students’ academic achievement, most notably through the use of value-added models

(VAMs)—a statistically complex tool that aims to isolate and then quantify the effect of

teachers on their students’ achievement. This increased focus on accountability ultimately

resulted in numerous lawsuits across the U.S. where teachers protested what they felt

were unfair evaluations informed by invalid, unreliable, and biased measures—most

notably VAMs.

While New Mexico’s teacher evaluation system was labeled as a “gold standard”

due to its purported ability to objectively and accurately differentiate between effective

and ineffective teachers, in 2015, teachers filed suit contesting the fairness and accuracy

of their evaluations. Amrein-Beardsley and Geiger’s (revise and resubmit) initial analyses

of the state’s teacher evaluation data revealed that the four individual measures

comprising teachers’ overall evaluation scores showed evidence of bias, and specifically,

teachers who taught in schools with different student body compositions (e.g., special

education students, poorer students, gifted students) had significantly different scores

than their peers. The purpose of this study was to expand upon these prior analyses by

investigating whether those conclusions still held true when controlling for a variety of

confounding factors at the school, class, and teacher levels, as such covariates were not

included in prior analyses.

Results from multiple linear regression analyses indicated that, overall, the

measures used to inform New Mexico teachers’ overall evaluation scores still showed

evidence of bias by school-level student demographic factors, with VAMs potentially

being the most susceptible and classroom observations being the least. This study is

especially unique given the juxtaposition of such a highly touted evaluation system also

being one where teachers contested its constitutionality. Study findings are important for

all education stakeholders to consider, especially as teacher evaluation systems and

related policies continue to be transformed.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

Examining the validity of a state policy-directed framework for evaluating teacher instructional quality: informing policy, impacting practice

Description

ABSTRACT

This study examines validity evidence of a state policy-directed teacher evaluation system implemented in Arizona during school year 2012-2013. The purpose was to evaluate the warrant for making high stakes,

ABSTRACT

This study examines validity evidence of a state policy-directed teacher evaluation system implemented in Arizona during school year 2012-2013. The purpose was to evaluate the warrant for making high stakes, consequential judgments of teacher competence based on value-added (VAM) estimates of instructional impact and observations of professional practice (PP). The research also explores educator influence (voice) in evaluation design and the role information brokers have in local decision making. Findings are situated in an evidentiary and policy context at both the LEA and state policy levels.

The study employs a single-phase, concurrent, mixed-methods research design triangulating multiple sources of qualitative and quantitative evidence onto a single (unified) validation construct: Teacher Instructional Quality. It focuses on assessing the characteristics of metrics used to construct quantitative ratings of instructional competence and the alignment of stakeholder perspectives to facets implicit in the evaluation framework. Validity examinations include assembly of criterion, content, reliability, consequential and construct articulation evidences. Perceptual perspectives were obtained from teachers, principals, district leadership, and state policy decision makers. Data for this study came from a large suburban public school district in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona.

Study findings suggest that the evaluation framework is insufficient for supporting high stakes, consequential inferences of teacher instructional quality. This is based, in part on the following: (1) Weak associations between VAM and PP metrics; (2) Unstable VAM measures across time and between tested content areas; (3) Less than adequate scale reliabilities; (4) Lack of coherence between theorized and empirical PP factor structures; (5) Omission/underrepresentation of important instructional attributes/effects; (6) Stakeholder concerns over rater consistency, bias, and the inability of test scores to adequately represent instructional competence; (7) Negative sentiments regarding the system's ability to improve instructional competence and/or student learning; (8) Concerns regarding unintended consequences including increased stress, lower morale, harm to professional identity, and restricted learning opportunities; and (9) The general lack of empowerment and educator exclusion from the decision making process. Study findings also highlight the value of information brokers in policy decision making and the importance of having access to unbiased empirical information during the design and implementation phases of important change initiatives.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Ready or not: student perceptions of the college readiness binary and Arizona Move on When Ready

Description

In 2010, the Arizona Legislature established a performance-based diploma initiative known as Move On When Ready (MOWR). The policy relies on an education model designed to evaluate students' college and

In 2010, the Arizona Legislature established a performance-based diploma initiative known as Move On When Ready (MOWR). The policy relies on an education model designed to evaluate students' college and career readiness by measuring their academic ability to succeed in the first credit-bearing course in community college. Move On When Ready is a structurally oriented, qualification system that attempts to attain a relatively narrow goal: increase the number of students able to successfully perform at a college-level academic standard. By relying on a set of benchmarked assessments to measure success and failure, MOWR propagates a categorical binary. The binary establishes explicit performance criteria on a set of examinations students are required to meet in order to earn a high school qualification that, by design, certifies whether students are ready or not ready for college.

This study sought to reveal how students’ perceptions of the policy and schooling in general affect their understanding of the concept of college readiness and the college readiness binary and to identify factors that help formulate those perceptions. This interpretivist, qualitative study relied on analysis of multiple face-to-face interviews with students to better understand how they think and act within the context of Move On When Ready, paying particular attention to students from historically vulnerable minority subgroups (e.g., the Latina (a)/Hispanic sub-population) enrolled in two schools deploying the MOWR strategy.

Findings suggest that interviewed students understand little about MOWR's design, intent or implications for their future educational trajectories. Moreover, what they believe is generally misinformed, regardless of aspiration, socio-cultural background, or academic standing. School-based sources of messaging (e.g., teachers and administrators) supply the bulk of information to students about MOWR. However, in these two schools, the flow of information is constricted. In addition, the information conveyed is either distorted by message mediators or misinterpreted by the students. The data reveal that formal and informal mediators of policy messages influence students’ engagement with the policy and affect students’ capacity to play an active role in determining the policy’s effect on their educational outcomes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Dual language programs (DLPs): questions of access to DLPs in the state of Arizona

Description

Public schools across the country are increasingly dealing with children who enter schools speaking a language other than English and Arizona is not the exception. As a result, schools across

Public schools across the country are increasingly dealing with children who enter schools speaking a language other than English and Arizona is not the exception. As a result, schools across the country have to adequately ensure this populations’ academic achievement, which is directly impacted by English proficiency and ELLs (English Language Learners) program placement. However, restrictive language policies such as Proposition 203, the four-hour English Language Development (ELD) block, and the exclusion of ELLs from Dual Language Programs (DLPs) in Arizona are not effectively preparing linguistic minority and ethnic student populations for academic achievement and competitiveness in a global economy.

For the first part of the analysis, the author examined bilingual education and DLPs policies, access, and practices impacting Latina/o communities by utilizing a case study methodology framework to present the phenomenon of DLPs in a state that by law only supports English only education. The author discussed the case study research design to answer the research questions: (1) Which public k-12 schools are implementing Dual Language Programs (DLPs) in the state of AZ? (2) What are the DLPs’ characteristics? (3) Where are the schools located? (4) What are the stakeholder participants’ perceptions of DLPs and the context in which these DLPs navigate? The author also describe the context of the study, the participants, data, and the data collection process, as well as the analytical techniques she used to make sense of the data and draw findings.

The findings suggest that bilingual education programs in the form of DLPs are being implemented in the state of Arizona despite the English only law of Proposition 203, English for the Children. The growing demand for DLPs is increasing the implementation of such programs, however, language minority students that are classified as ELL are excluded from being part of such programs. Moreover, the findings of the study suggest that although bilingual education is being implemented in Arizona through DLPs, language minority education policy is being negatively influenced by Interest Convergence tenets and Racist Nativist ideology in which the interest of the dominant culture are further advanced to the detriment of minority groups’ interest.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Houston, we have a problem: studying the SAS Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) from teachers' perspectives in the Houston Independent School District (HISD)

Description

This study examined the intended and unintended consequences associated with the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) as perceived and experienced by teachers in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). To

This study examined the intended and unintended consequences associated with the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) as perceived and experienced by teachers in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). To evaluate teacher effectiveness, HISD is using EVAAS for high-stakes consequences more than any other district or state in the country. A large-scale electronic survey was used to investigate the model's reliability and validity; to determine whether teachers used the EVAAS data in formative ways as intended; to gather teachers' opinions on EVAAS's claimed benefits and statements; and to understand the unintended consequences that occurred as a result of EVAAS use in HISD. Mixed methods data collection and analyses were used to present the findings in user-friendly ways, particularly when using the words and experiences of the teachers themselves. Results revealed that the reliability of the EVAAS model produced split and inconsistent results among teacher participants, and teachers indicated that students biased the EVAAS results. The majority of teachers did not report similar EVAAS and principal observation scores, reducing the criterion-related validity of both measures of teacher quality. Teachers revealed discrepancies in the distribution of EVAAS reports, the awareness of trainings offered, and among principals' understanding of EVAAS across the district. This resulted in an underwhelming number of teachers who reportedly used EVAAS data for formative purposes. Teachers disagreed with EVAAS marketing claims, implying the majority did not believe EVAAS worked as intended and promoted. Additionally, many unintended consequences associated with the high-stakes use of EVAAS emerged through teachers' responses, which revealed among others that teachers felt heightened pressure and competition, which reduced morale and collaboration, and encouraged cheating or teaching to the test in attempt to raise EVAAS scores. This study is one of the first to investigate how the EVAAS model works in practice and provides a glimpse of whether value-added models might produce desired outcomes and encourage best teacher practices. This is information of which policymakers, researchers, and districts should be aware and consider when implementing the EVAAS, or any value-added model for teacher evaluation, as many of the reported issues are not specific to the EVAAS model.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Teacher evaluation systems: how teachers and teacher quality are (re)defined by market-based discourses

Description

Teacher evaluation policies have recently shifted in the United States. For the first time in history, many states, districts, and administrators are now required to evaluate teachers by methods that

Teacher evaluation policies have recently shifted in the United States. For the first time in history, many states, districts, and administrators are now required to evaluate teachers by methods that are up to 50% based on their "value-added," as demonstrated at the classroom-level by growth on student achievement data over time. Other related instruments and methods, such as classroom observations and rubrics, have also become common practices in teacher evaluation systems. Such methods are consistent with the neoliberal discourse that has dominated the social and political sphere for the past three decades. Employing a discourse analytic approach that called upon a governmentality framework, the author used a complementary approach to understand how contemporary teacher evaluation polices, practices, and instruments work to discursively (re)define teachers and teacher quality in terms of their market value.

For the first part of the analysis, the author collected and analyzed documents and field notes related to the teacher evaluation system at one urban middle school. The analysis included official policy documents, official White House speeches and press releases, evaluation system promotional materials, evaluator training materials, and the like. For the second part of the analysis, she interviewed teachers and their evaluators at the local middle school in order to understand how the participants had embodied the market-based discourse to define themselves as teachers and qualify their practice, quality, and worth accordingly.

The findings of the study suggest that teacher evaluation policies, practices, and instruments make possible a variety of techniques, such as numericization, hierarchical surveillance, normalizing judgments, and audit, in order to first make teachers objects of knowledge and then act upon that knowledge to manage teachers' conduct. The author also found that teachers and their evaluators have taken up this discourse in order to think about and act upon themselves as responsibilized subjects. Ultimately, the author argues that while much of the attention related to teacher evaluations has focused on the instruments used to measure the construct of teacher quality, that teacher evaluation instruments work in a mutually constitutive ways to discursively shape the construct of teacher quality.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Perceptions of New Adjuncts on the Optional Professional Development at University Of California, Los Angeles Extension

Description

This mixed-methods study explored perceptions of new adjuncts on various trainings with regards to satisfying their professional and aspirational needs. Three trainings were offered in fall 2018 quarter as optional

This mixed-methods study explored perceptions of new adjuncts on various trainings with regards to satisfying their professional and aspirational needs. Three trainings were offered in fall 2018 quarter as optional professional development: workshop, and two roundtable sessions. These trainings assisted adjuncts with their teaching skills, educational technology and pedagogy. Guidance was provided from experienced adjuncts and staff.

Surveys and interviews with adjuncts, along with a focus group with staff were the sources of data for this study. A repeated measures Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) model was utilized. Analysis of data showed that there was a positive and statistical significance of change in perceptions of adjuncts who participated in all trainings towards fulfilling their needs, as compared to those who did not participate in any trainings. Adjuncts perceived an improvement in their professional growth based on Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory and the trainings also fulfilled their higher-level growth needs based on Maslow’s hierarchical needs theory. A large practical significance was also found which measures the practical impact of such trainings at local communities of practice.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019