Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mr. Talk Gets High

No, not that way. I'm talking about my Teacher Data Report (TDR). If you haven't seen yours, check your DOE email. Mine arrived today.

If you follow this blog at all, you know that my previous TDR was a stinker. I'm not as daring as Ruben Brosbe, who disclosed his lousy TDR to everyone on the planet by announcing it in the NY Post. But I will give you a hint as to what it was. Think single digits.

So when I saw the email announcing that my current scores were in, you can imagine how my heart skipped a beat. Another number from the crapper, and my principal would have to take notice. I began picturing myself on the front page of the Post, with the caption "Worst Teacher In The City--End LIFO Now!"

But a funny thing happened on the way to the Teacher Hall of Shame. I opened the report, scrunched my eyes--and laughed. Yes, laughed. And this time it was because I was high. I'm talking about my Performance Catergory. Again, I'm not disclosing the number, but to end up in that category, one has to score in the 95th percentile or above.

Value-added has an alleged margin of error of 35 points, by most accounts, which is lousy in and of itself. In my case, however, the data changed more than 85 percentage points.

I don't put this information out there to pat myself on the back. I'm the same teacher, teaching the same curriculum as last year, but my numbers varied widely. I'll repeat what I said back when my number was microscopic. These numbers are worthless.

A lot of you will be opening your TDR reports tonight to not such good news. Don't let it get to you. The numbers don't reflect reality. It's just a moronic formula dreamed up by a bunch of non-educators who believe that you can quantify everything. What you should do, regardless of what the TDR says, is ask yourself whether you are really working hard and doing a good job. If you are, then the numbers mean less than zero.

What gets to me, though, is how those numbers can be abused. Based on that worthless formula, some of you will be denied tenure. Others will be targeted for U ratings. Had Mayor4Life gotten his way on ending seniority for layoffs, that formula could have cost you your job. It's insanity.

I wonder which numbers will appear in the papers, should the FOIL request be granted. I hope both of mine appear, so that everyone can see just how ridiculous value added really is. I'd love to hear from anyone else whose number changed more than the accepted 35% margin of error. If there are enough of us, maybe we can expose the TDR fraud for what it is.



Traveling ATR said...

You rating was so high because you correctly guessed the month of Cathie Black's firing. Now that is real value-added.

reality-based educator said...

Wow - an 85 percentage point change.

I've written over and over how worthless this value-added crap is.

But I am floored by the change from last year to this year, AT.

What a joke.