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VAMboozled!: One Compliant County in Florida and its New 724 Tests

Beginning this fall, in Collier County Florida as per the state of Florida’s new teacher accountability policy, district teachers/administrators are to create new tests for each and every class it offers (including all electives) to hold all teachers accountable for the value they purportedly add to student learning and achievement over time.

While most often approximately 70% of teachers are excluded from being held accountable via these systems, this is the (band aid) approach meant to fix that.

But in this county, this means district teachers/administrators will be developing and implementing (without psychometric, financial, or really any other support)… 724 new tests to comply with the state policy.

Yes — 724 new tests for not only the teachers in this county, but all of the students being educated in this county as well. Thereafter, “Student scores and learning gains at all grade levels will be evaluated and, in the 2015-16 school year, a teacher’s paycheck will be based in part on how they did.”

This says nothing about the seriously major methodological issues that are no doubt to arise using educator developed tests. If we can’t get it right using the best tests we have going, as developed by testing companies with decades of experience developing tests that are still highly questionable when used for measuring teachers’ contributions to student learning, just think of the exponential problems this is to now cause too.

The state of Florida’s response, being yet another state that received Race to the Top funds to “support” this? “They’ve [as in personnel at the district] had three years to do this.”

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Audrey Amrein-Beardsley

Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, a former middle- and high-school mathematics teacher, received her Ph.D. in 2002 from Arizona State University in the Division of Educati...