More than a Number Educational Forum

On February 15, 2012, according to Newsday “more than 800 teachers, school principals and others turned out at a Long Island forum to oppose the state’s plans to start using student scores on state tests in rating educators’ performance. The forum, entitled “More than a Number” organized and led by Dr. Arnold Dodge, and sponsored by Long Island University, was an outgrowth of two formal protests of New York State’s proposed teacher and principal evaluation model. The first protest was by the Metropolitan Council for Educational Administration Programs [MCEAP] (an association of over 20 leadership preparation programs in the greater NYC area). Bank Street College supports the organization’s quarterly meetings, and two faculty members, Terry Orr and Ken Grover, are its president and secretary, respectively. MCEAP produced a formal statement in September, 2011, entitled “Moving toward Systemic Accountability and Capacity Building for Schools and School Leaders.” In this statement, the MCEAP members (along with the NY statewide organization, CADEA [Collegiate Academy for Departments of Educational Administration] which endorsed the statement) recommended five alternative aspects to the proposed evaluation system, that it be:

A purpose-driven evaluation system which builds capacity, not a numbers-driven system which narrows a school’s focus, is divisive, and engenders fear.
Evaluation methods that recognize the complexities and uncertainties of leading, teaching and learning processes, not formulas that are weighted to student test scores, using flawed formulas, assessments and attribution.
A new evaluation system that is phased in over time with appropriate training for all personnel involved, not one that is

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