Blog Archives

How Can Infrastructures Affect Teachers & Systemic Improvement?

A recent discussion between David K. Cohen of the University of Michigan and the Fordham Institute’s Chris Tessone used the term infrastructure. Cohen, in an earlier post on ShankarBlog (from the American Federation of Teachers’ Shankar Institute), argued that individual

Posted in Big ideas & theories, Data downsides, Information infrastructure, Research, Signs of the times, Value-added models

Are All Teacher-Student Linkages Created Equal?

Across the nation educators and their technologists have been working to implement what is a seemingly simple information systems enhancement: linking the records for teachers with the records for students. This should seem to involve a matt of linking two

Posted in Information infrastructure, Research, Value-added models

What is the Relationship Between Ed Schools, Research, and Practice?

Many in the blogosphere are having a good time with a statement made by Bill Gates that education schools are “not about research”. Clearly, there are some that are, including some that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has generously

Posted in Big ideas & theories, Research

Can Teachers Be Managers?

In April 25 of this year at an event on the campus of Johns Hopkins University titled The Future of Teaching: New Standards, New Tests, and New Evaluations — What does it all mean?, American Federation of Teachers President Randi

Posted in Big ideas & theories, Teachers and data, Top news stories, Value-added models

One More National Education Data Standard?

The recent announcement that there is now one more technology standard for educational data may seem to be an obscure technical detail with little relation to school and classroom practice. Those who think this might want to think again. The

Posted in Information infrastructure, Signs of the times

Balanced Report About One of the Nation’s Most Important Teacher Evaluation Systems

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Susan Headden of Education Sector has written an excellent and balanced report on the DC Public Schools’ controversial IMPACT system that is used to evaluate teachers and instrumental in the dismissal of hundreds that were rated

Posted in Research, Teachers and data, Value-added models

Educators Need Something to Use Data Effectively

A recent post by Joe Siedlecki and his colleagues of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) makes a strong case for getting educators the skills to use data appropriately in their work. Few organizations, with the exception of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have invested so much in promoting data cultures and developing data tools.

Posted in Big ideas & theories, Teachers and data

Value Added Models – Equity and Exceptional-ism or Evaluation?

Anyone in education who has been introduced to the term value-added modeling likely is aware of how difficult a topic it is when it has been applied to measuring teachers.  I was at the American Federation of Teachers’ (AFT) bi-annual

Posted in Value-added models

Will the Test Cheating Scandals Derail the Educational Data Train?

The recent revelation that much of the improvement reported by the Atlanta Public Schools was the tainted by widespread test cheating have added to the concerns about how test-driven reform is really working in schools. When added to the similar

Posted in Data downsides

Value-Added Models from 20,000 Feet

What are Value-added models (VAMs)?  They are a kind of statistical model that has been used to evaluate the performance of teachers.  VAMs have been developing since the 1990 and have been seen as an alternative to the achievement model

Posted in Value-added models