This is a good short video explaining why assessing teachers based on student test scores, even the value-added model (i.e., when you just look at growth over the period of a year rather than pass/fail), is not appropriate.

Indiana State Superintendent, Tony Bennett, would like to move us in this direction according to his recent State of Education Address (Full text).

“Our biggest accomplishment in the eyes of many educators and parents is the Indiana Growth Model. It’s the game-changer for education in our state, and it underlies many of our initiatives. It lets us look beyond test scores to examine how much students actually learn in a school year….

“If we’re going to hold teachers accountable for teaching our kids—if we’re going to hold leaders accountable for school success—we have to make student learning the primary consideration for teacher promotion and recognition.

“To do that, we must have a meaningful system for evaluating teachers and building administrators—one that makes year-to-year growth in student achievement the most important factor in determining effectiveness. Once we have a consistent and fair way to evaluate educators, we should use those evaluations to reward, remediate and even remove teachers as appropriate. For this reason, our legislative agenda will be aimed at recognizing and rewarding Indiana’s great teachers and school leaders.”

If the above video feels too superficial, then feel free to explore more about value-added assessment measures for teacher effectiveness at Larry Ferlazzo‘s blog.