Can you speak or write a short email to end the use of test scores to evaluate teachers?
This Thursday, HISD will vote on the $680,000 EVAAS contract that uses test scores to evaluate teachers. Last Thursday, they voted behind closed doors to cut funding to kids $179 per child (PUA) which, combined with the 2011 cuts is $550,000 in cuts for a mid sized high school.
To speak you must sign up by 11 am on Thursday at http://www.houstonisd.org/Page/32478. Let us know or ask for help at firstname.lastname@example.org. The agenda item number is I-2. The vote will be close with four against the use of EVAAS to evaluate teachers and five for. The vote will be close. Thank Trustees Skillern-Jones, Adams, J Jones and Lunceford for their likely vote in support. Convince the others with the truth.
Board email addresses here and at the bottom of this page.
NOW IS THE TIME.
When you write your email or speak, just tell your story! Tell your child's teacher's story. Tell your child's story and how their education has been co-opted by high stakes testing. We can change our schools for the better. Tell them we can wait no longer.
500 Houston Area parents are opting out of STAAR and want school districts to permanently end the use of test scores for promotion and end the use of test scores to evaluate teachers. The American Statistical Association and others have condemned the tests as unreliable and invalid measures of teacher performance.
And just this week, NY Supreme Court ruled that value added models (test scores for evaluating teachers) are illegal, "capricious and arbitrary." Does HISD need to be taken to court again?
Grades are a better measure of student progress and classroom observation is a better measure of teacher quality than student performance on a test on a single day in a child’s life.
Three samples from which you can draw your speech are below:
In the middle of a potential $95 million dollar budget shortfall for the 2016-2017 school year, the HISD school board is considering funding the SAS institute $680,000 for EVAAS and a test prep contract for 8 million. What a waste of money. Here are three speeches you can use or tweak to speak to the board on Thursday.
1. I am a parent and ask that the district not fund the SAS institute for EVAAS because EVAAS is an unreliable and capricious way of evaluating teachers. The American Statistical Association has stated that teachers have at most -14% effect on student performance on standardized tests. When these student assessments are used to evaluate teachers, it fundamentally changes the teacher and student relationship. It is unfair to put the burden of teacher evaluations and job security on students.
2. I am a parent and ask that the district not fund the SAS institute for EVAAS. I am asking you to eliminate standardized test scores on teacher and principal evaluations. As a parent, I am opposed to the high stakes testing educational culture and the use of test scores to evaluate teachers. I do not agree with the way that student data is being used. It is morally reprehensible to reduce children to their test score. Do not fund the SAS Institute for EVAAS.
3. Trustees, thank you for your service to the residents of Houston. We count on you to be stewards of our public trust for the children of Houston, Texas. EVAAS scores are based on a complicated formula based on some items which are not in the state curriculum. EVAAS does not help teachers teach better and does not help children learn. Use our tax money to fund something that helps our children instead of an — “arbitrary” and “capricious” scoring system.
Add a postscript about the board's "behind closed doors" board workshop vote last Thursday to cut funding to our children- still $179 per unit allocation (PUA meaning per kid. Over the last five years HISD has transferred the burden of educating children into PUA cuts totaling $369 per child. $190 in cuts are from 2011 and $179 are from the proposed 2016 cuts. To a high school with 1500 students, this means an annual reduction in revenue of about $550,000. We are asking children to shoulder a lot.
We should keep our cuts as far away from the students as we can. We owe them that. We should not use test scores to evaluate teachers. You are our elected representatives. Fix this mess.
HISD Board and Interim Superintendent Email addresses