I’m clearly not a shill for corporate takeover of the public education system. However, I want to clear up one misconception about (most) merit pay systems.
A lot of people will say very uniformed things like “Oh, what if one kid doesn’t try on the test that day? Should I be held responsible for that?”
No, you shouldn’t. And obviously this has been thought of when developing these systems for years on end with teams of PhD statisticians and generally intelligent people.
First of all, most merit pay systems only place student growth/test scores at about 40% of the total. (The rest being on evaluations and surveys)
Second, the most common tool is a sort of Student Growth Percentile. Let’s say we have a 9th grade student named Frank in Algebra I, and he scored a 280 on his last year’s state test. This year he scores a 301. The algorithm will look at EVERY 8th grader in the state (or specific area, depending on the district) who got a 280 LAST year, and create a bell curve distribution of their scores this year. Let’s say he scores higher than 62% of 8th graders with a 280 last year. This will assign Frank a score of 62 in Algebra this year.
This SGI, which essentially measures growth will be applied to every one of the teacher’s students (lets say 150 students), and then the mean (average) will be taken of that. This process most certainly deletes a lot of random noise and error that would occur in a very small sample size or if you were just measuring raw scores rather than comparative percentiles.
I totally understand the opposition to merit pay. But please, let’s not become raving Tea Partiers who are jettisoning all facts and yelling with big signs.
I’m not sure that I agree with the points brought up here. Personally, I know that as a kid I liked to make designs on test bubbles one year. I don’t think that is ever going to fit a math equation, even the one you described. Also, some kids (particularly the population I work with) do not do well on tests.
I’d like to see what other teachers on tumblr think.