Dear Bill and Melinda,
A teacher sent us a message about a one of the new systems of reform you have pushed into place: Value Added Measures. There have been many before me who have written about this as “junk science” and have provided the evidence to prove it.
Yet this teacher has something else to say about the article from Ohio state called: Grading the Teachers: Search Value Added Grades for 4,200 Ohio Teachers.
“Sure. I love teaching. I love inspiring confidence in children and watching them grow into brave learners. Once a few years ago a former student of mine who had just graduated college ran in to me at the grocery. He had struggled some in elementary school. He told me, “I just want to thank you for helping me know that I was ok, that it was alright to be me.”
That was my finest hour as a teacher. There have been many other moments of pride in my career, but none of the great ones are connected to standardized test results. My name is not on that list, but it will be soon. My life’s work will be reduced to one word based on a single test on a single day. That is truly a tragedy, be the word positive or negative. We are more than this.” ~ Anonymous Teacher in Ohio
We agree: Value Added Measures are “junk science”. We agree: “Our life’s work will be reduced to one word based on a single test on a single day.” We agree: That is truly a tragedy. And we definitely agree: We are much more than this.
What do you think, Bill and Melinda, are we more than one word based on a single test on a single day? Is that really what you think of our life’s work?
Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates