Passing Muster Fails Muster? (An Evaluation of Evaluating Evaluation Systems)

Steven Glazerman, Dan Goldhaber, Susanna Loeb, Stephen Raudenbush, Douglas O. Staiger, and Grover J. Whitehurst
Brookings Institution
April 26, 2011
May 18, 2011

 

Baker expresses concern that Passing Muster is an example of “…technicians working within the political arena…deferring judgment on important technical concerns that have real ethical implications.” Although the authors of Passing Muster claim no preference for specific types of evaluation systems, their rating system effectively suggests that value-added measures should be the benchmark for evaluating teacher evaluation systems, simply because they are available and not because they are good measures.  Baker calls on the authors to admit their bias: “When a technician knows that one choice is better (or worse) than another, one measure or model better than another, and that these technical choices affect real lives, the technician should – MUST – be up front/honest about these preferences.”