Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Flawed tests save the state money in teacher bonuses?
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Author:  gayle [ Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:34 am ]
Post subject:  Flawed tests save the state money in teacher bonuses?

I received this news item in the mornings email. The State Board of Education has chosen to use the results of the 6th grade reading test, though their own advisory committee says the test results are probably not valid. Could it be because it saves the state $12 million in perfomance bonuses to teachers?

"Board members voted nearly unanimously (only one member voted for) to reject a recommendation from its own advisory commission to throw out disputed sixth-grade reading tests results. Questions had been raised earlier this year by the poor performance of middle schools in the state. Only two of the 388 middle schools made even expected progress on the sixth-grade reading test. An advisory committee on testing issues questioned the validity of the formula used to measure performance on the test. The commission recommended that results be recalculated without the sixth-grade reading test. If the State Board had adopted the recommendation, the ABC results would have changed for 253 schools and an additional $12 million in performance bonuses would be paid to teachers. Howard Lee, State Board chairman, said that if problems existed with the state formula they would be addressed but stated that the decision was "in the best interests of the citizens of this state and the maintenance of the accountability program."

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