Though only 35% of my students passed (got 3 or 4 on) the city exam, 57% of them improved their scores (raw and scale score).
So, fifty-seven percent. That's 48 of my 84 kids. Is it good that more than half improved? Because it sure sounds better than only one-third passed. But then again, only half the kids improved. The other half's grades either stayed the same or, god forbid, went down.
We were warned that the administration, but especially the city/DoE, will only be looking at the levels. And also that the city (our "beloved" mayor who is "fighting for the kids") is pushing really hard to evaluate/keep/discard teachers based solely on their students' test scores. So thus, we were told to know our improvement as a way to defend ourselves, just in case.
Ain't that dandy?
So what do you think? For the teachers whose 90-95% of students improve or pass, do we give the teacher sole credit? It sure seems like it. I know the MAYOR wants to take sole credit for it. But this isn't about him. Well, actually in a way it is, but that's not what I want to focus on.
How much credit does the teacher need or deserve? Does it mean that I am a bad teacher because two-thirds of my students did not pass the test? Does it mean that I'm a not-very-good-teacher because half of my students did not improve their scores in the last year? Does "good" or "bad" teaching only get reflected in student test scores? Well, then why do we do anything OTHER than take the goddamn test? Or do we place the blame/credit solely on the shoulders of the students themselves?
Half full or half empty? I'm torn. What do you think?