Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:34 pm
Alabama is near the bottom of the country's academic rankings. The state has problems with test scores, school improvement ratings and dropouts. But the district in Birmingham has a different kind of issue. The state recently took over the school board because of infighting on the board. The move has triggered cries of racism.
More states are wrestling with that question, now that the Obama administration is encouraging schools to evaluate teachers with a combination of student test scores and classroom observations.
The question of whether teacher evaluations are reliable indicators for teacher effectiveness has long been controversial. But New York City reignited the debate when it rated thousands of teachers with test scores alone — and then released those ratings to the public.