What’s the education policy that most damages the teaching profession? Sixty-nine percent of State Teachers of the Year and finalists for State Teacher of the Year say it’s the use of standardized student test scores in teacher evaluations.
The survey by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) also found an overwhelming majority (81 percent) of respondents do not support teacher evaluation systems that rely significantly on the results of student standardized test scores.
The NNSTOY survey isn’t a representative sample of the nation’s teachers, however other surveys of teachers reflect these same sentiments. Teachers here in Connecticut and around the country know that state mastery test scores do not accurately measure student growth and that it’s impossible to disentangle specific teachers’ effects on student scores from other home and school effects.
A 2014 poll of NEA members found that nearly half (44%) of surveyed members had considered leaving the profession because of high-stakes standardized testing. Teachers in states that mandate the use of high-stakes test scores for teacher evaluations reported: 1) More negative feelings about testing 2) Much lower job satisfaction, and 3) Much higher percentage thought of leaving the profession due to testing.
In Connecticut, SB 380 gives lawmakers a chance to act on the serious concerns teachers have shared about the use of SBAC in their evaluations. Click here to contact your legislators today and share your personal stories about the problems with using SBAC in your evaluation.
When it comes to making education policy decisions, teachers need to be consulted as the experts on what is best for children in our classrooms. Make sure legislators hear your voice.
As the 2000 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year and NNSTOY CEO Katherine Bassett writes, “Hospitals wouldn’t institute a new surgical procedure without talking to a doctor. A city wouldn’t pass a new building code without consulting engineers, would they? Before making any sweeping changes to education policy, I would want to know this: What do teachers think?”