Student test score jujitsu

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Although sentiments may be shifting, many teachers have been quite leery of the prospects of having their work evaluations based even partially on the performance of their students.  This has been true especially if that performance is measured by standardized tests. Several weeks ago we suggested that data on student performance could be used by a teacher in self-defense in cases in which the teacher is not faring so well by evaluations based on more subjective measures.  Lo and behold, just days ago, there's a report that a teacher in Los Angeles is doing exactly that -- citing as a defense against his own and a colleague's dismissal the test performance of their students.  

Tenure has historically been viewed by teachers as their only real protection from arbitrary and capricious personnel decisions by principals.  It would be ironic if teachers' perception that student performance data is another weapon that can be potentially used against them is transformed into a perception that it is a weapon that can be used by them for  self-protection.  As long as student performance data is only one piece of a full range of evidence on important professional attributes and doesn't guarantee continued employment, that transformation is fine with us.

Julie Greenberg