Dystopia: A Possible Future of Teacher Evaluation

I’m usually not an alarmist, however, the recent efforts to develop a common repository for student standardized test scores and associated data is something of concern for all parents.  Read more about these efforts at the links below.

NY Daily News article

inBloom Privacy FAQ

Town Hall Meeting Presentation

My comments to an EdWeek blog post titled Dystopia: A Possible Future of Teacher Evaluation and written by Anthony Cody follow, along with a link to the post.  For those of you who have read George Orwell, or Aldous Huxley, I recommend you read the EdWeek post.

While more legislation is not always a good thing, I believe federal privacy legislation, if not already in place, must be enacted ASAP prohibiting the collection, storage, integration, or dissemination of individually identifiable standardized / mandated test scores and other associated data for any student, when said data are not otherwise legally and freely available in the public domain, except for the sole and express purpose of informing authorized parties of said scores and/or data where authorized parties are limited to adult students, parents / legal guardians of under age students, teachers, or administrators. Furthermore, it should be expressly prohibited to use any individually identifiable score or associated data, or aggregated scores or associated data for any purpose other than to inform instruction or professional development.

While the possibilities proffered by these data are tantalizing for econometricians, accountability addicts, various researchers, and the like, the mere existence of this level of atomized data ominously portends Orwellian and Huxleyian futures for us all. We must prevent this move to create a statewide- or national database of individually identifiable data with every ounce of our American spirit, which is deeply steeped in independence and freedom; otherwise, a fascist state becomes all too real, all too quickly.

About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Independent consultant and junior college adjunct instructor. Former secondary math teacher who taught math intervention, algebra 1, geometry, accelerated algebra 2, precalculus, honors precalculus, AP Calculus AB, and AP Statistics. Prior to teaching, I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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1 Response to Dystopia: A Possible Future of Teacher Evaluation

  1. Chris says:

    If the problem (which I agree with) is the release of student scores, there has got to be another way to tie student growth to teacher productivity. In Hillsborough County, Florida, we have been part of a new teacher evaluation system for three years. The part that is tied to student data is called the “Value Added” portion of our evaluation. While nobody can explain exactly how this number is determined, we do know that socioeconomic factors and student test scores are involved , among other data. This is also keeping the student data private. I do not believe that student scores should be released for public viewing and/or scrutiny.


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