New Mission

New Mission

My idea is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues. I’d like to see different successful schools, wherever they may be, up close. I’d like to sit down with directors and administrators. I’d like to speak with government officials who keep a pulse on the education affairs of their communities. I want to learn more about education around the globe through speaking with locals, seeing the schools, and shaking hands with the people responsible for implementing the systems. If you know of any outstanding (public or private) special needs schools in other parts of the world, I’d love to hear about them. If you know any education experts from around the world, I’d love to be introduced to them. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas. Read more about my mission.

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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.