Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Bye Bye to a Bad Regulation

Quite possibly the worst idea to come out of corporate school reform was the notion that teacher education programs could be scientifically evaluated based on the performance of their "grandstudents" - that is to say, the test scores of students who were never taught by the college faculty and who never attended the teacher education program being evaluated, but rather the students of former students from the teacher prep program.

I can say with certainty that there is absolutely nothing a college could have taught one of my new teachers that, as the principal, I could not trump on the very first day of employment. Teachers in our schools are not responsive to their former professors, but they had better follow the dictates of the school administration.

The desire to understand the value added by Teacher Ed programs is certainly understandable. But there is no one-to-one-to-one correspondence that exists here. If teacher education programs were in charge of a particular school, and its principal, then perhaps. But short of that, measuring the performance of grandstudents is a totally invalid approach and endorsing it is on some level, anti-scientific. When we know that particular piece of data is unreliable and invalid, we ought not use it. But CAEP pressed ahead with its Standard 4.1 anyway, and the Obama administration adopted it in its teacher prep rules.

Now it appears the Republicans are poised to get rid of the rule. They've got this one right. Good riddance.  

This from Morning Education:
Two Obama-era education regulations appear to be going the way of eight-track tapes and pay phones. The Senate is expected to pass measures today that would scrap one regulation designed to hold schools accountable under the Every Student Succeeds Act, and another that governs teacher preparation programs. Republicans have long claimed the regulations are examples of federal overreach in education. They are using the Congressional Review Act to get rid of them, and President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign the measures.

Not all Republicans are united in the effort to get rid of the accountability rule. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio said he wants to keep it. And the business-friendly Chamber of Commerce joined civil rights groups in defending it. Supporters of the regulation say getting rid of it now would disrupt work already being done in states to develop plans under ESSA.

But the teacher preparation rule never had many cheerleaders on Capitol Hill. It was supported by the Council of Chief State School Officers, however, and some members of the education reform community. They said improving teacher training was needed to boost the quality of the nation's teaching corps. The rule would have rated teacher training programs based in part on how well students taught by the program's graduates performed on tests.

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