NEA OKs value-added — only in theory

The National Education Association has approved the use of test scores to evaluate teacher performance — “but the union’s leaders underscored that no existing standardized tests currently meet the criteria for inclusion spelled out in the policy,” reports Teacher Beat, which is covering the NEA convention.

NEA Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle said the union will work to create a “truly high-quality evaluation and accountability system that honors our profession.”

Delegates added more qualifications:

• Objective evaluators must now “be agreed to by the local affiliate,” which would, for example, not permit evaluators like the district-hired “master educators” used by the District of Columbia’s IMPACT teacher-evaluation system.

• On tenure-granting (or as the union calls it “career status”), the original proposal said that teachers after receiving two “meets” or “exceeds” ratings on evaluations should earn tenure. But the final version says tenure should be granted for a good evaluation “at the end of their probationary period.”

• On top of all the other requirements, standardized tests used in evaluations would now have to be “developmentally appropriate,” too.

Delegates also voted to endorse President Obama’s re-election, despite an earlier resolution titled “13 Things We Hate about Arne Duncan.”

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  1. With how little control we teachers have over curriculum, discipline, attendance and consequences for failure, to judge the value we’ve added is essentially like sending police officers out unarmed, immediately releasing most criminals, and then blaming them for the crime rate.

    (I’m sure many police officers are now thinking “As opposed to….”)

  2. The best article I read discussing how to improve the performance of teachers, and thus the performance of students, is called Helping Teachers Help Themselves. ( We all need to read it. The best news is that it is being used and it works.

    Teaching is a profession. However, Individual teachers must recognize that not all teachers are professionals. Other professions have review boards to hold members to certain standards. The teaching profession needs the same thing.

  3. SuperSub says:


  4. Teachers in our district do have input into curriculum. Aside from that, they happily embrace a lot of trends that don’t seem to really work…like “invented spelling” past the age where it seems developmentally appropriate.

    And since Obi brings up the issue of attendance…what about teacher attendance?

    And before anyone says the teachers are around those snotty kids all of the time, of course they will be absent….I’ve worked in healthcare settings for over 20 years where I am around ill people daily. Most places I have worked have I have incredibly stringent absenteeism policies.

  5. Most places I have worked have I have incredibly stringent absenteeism policies. And that’s a good thing?