Friday, July 22, 2011

Deborah Ball discusses teacher assessments in light of Michigan's new teacher tenure law

Tags: assessment, ball, digital signage, policy, teacher education, teacher education initiative, teacher quality, testing

On July 19, 2011, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation that provides school districts with more flexibility to fire low-performing teachers. Yet the tools to assess the performance of teachers have yet to be determined. In a July 21, 2011, interview with WBUR radio, Deborah Loewenberg Ball talked about work underway at the University of Michigan School of Education devising new and valid teacher assessment tools. Student achievement gains are important, she says, but are "too distant from the classroom."

More accurate assessments, Ball says, will come from measuring teachers' classroom skills, which, she said "includes their ability to explain content, to lead a discussion of children about a particular text, to be able to diagnose kids’ learning difficulties, or progress that they're making. The actual work they have to do in the classroom are the kind of assessments that we’re advocating for."


Deborah Loewenberg Ball is William H. Payne Collegiate Chair, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and dean of the School of Education.

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