Valerie Braman

Why Publishing a Teacher’s Standardized Test Results Is a Very Bad Idea

Using student standardized test scores to evaluate teachers, a trend gaining steam in a growing number of states in recent years as a result of the federal “Race to the Top” program, isn’t about improving education. It is, and always has been, about ranking, sorting, and shaming schools and educators. But, just as controversial testing regimens don’t accurately capture student learning or progress in the classroom, standardized, homogenized teacher evaluations don’t capture what teachers do for students. Teaching and learning is hardly a beauty pageant. Educators and kids are more than a set of scores.

Keep reading... Show less

What Campbell Brown Got Dead Wrong About Teachers and Our Unions

I learned recently that I don’t live in the real world: before that, I’d assumed that if my degrees, certifications and teaching career didn’t qualify me as a resident of the “real world,” then the taxes, rent, car payments and student loans that I am dutifully paying off certainly would. But each time my eyes wander into the comments section of an education-related article, I’m told that my fellow educators and I inhabit an alternate universe in which we are the villains, responsible for all of society’s ills.

Keep reading... Show less

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.