Spent today working with English Language Arts teachers on methods for measuring the growth of their students’ reading and writing skills (#DDMs). Because the results will be used to evaluate teachers, it’s challenging to find a balance between genuinely measuring a young adult’s improvement and fairly capturing the teacher’s impact on that student. Here are some concerns:
Avoiding a Low Impact Rating
No teacher who takes pride in her work wants a low impact rating. And yet, as growth measures are used for the first time, they can generate numbers that do not accurately reflect what students have learned.
Capturing Student Growth
Here are some practices these teachers propose for raising the odds that a measure of growth will reflect student improvement over the course of the year (Note: these suggestions are specific to writing to text in the high school):
- Administer the first task as early in the year as possible
- Omit lengthy directions (to see what students can do independently)
- Define measurable, concrete aspects of the task in the rubric