New Mission

New Mission

My mission is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues.

I would like to visit and observe different types of schools that have proven records of success, wherever those schools may be. I would like to meet with school directors and administrators, government officials, leaders in the business world, and others who are responsible for implementing education systems or otherwise connected to education to learn more about how education is being addressed in their communities.

If you know of any remarkable schools in other parts of the world (especially special needs schools), please let me know about them. If you know of any education experts who are engaged in remarkable work in this field, please introduce me to them.

Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the above. Read more about my mission here.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Value-Added Assessments

Some of you may have been following the issue of whether "teacher data reports" (i.e., teacher performance rankings) should or should not be released to the media and the public.  Well, the NY Supreme Court gave the green light and ruled that the information must be released to those who requested it under FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) and I agree with the court's determination.  Not to say that the data is flawless or that the reliance on standardized test scores is ideal because it's not.  But this is one measure of evaluating teachers and it's useful when considered alongside other data.  If the teachers' union has such strong concerns, it should start focusing on how to improve this tool instead of trying to eliminate it.  Then we can debate what other measurements should be used in addition to teacher data reports in order to determine teacher effectiveness.  The teachers' union will be appealing the decision so no teacher scores will be released just yet.