Wagner: It's worth noting what the chicago is proposing, student performance on standardized tests count toward 25% of teacher assessment would go to 40% in five years. It's hard to say look, we don't want to be evaluated. You just need to keep paying us what you're paying us.
John Heileman: A shockingly untenable position. There really are at this point in the world of teachers unions those getting with the program and those that are digging in their heels and resisting the program. There are unions that have looked at race to the top, have looked at the fact that a lot of the demands unions have made in the past have gotten in the way of things we should be focussed on, kids and their education, and they are working with reformsers to be adaptive to the new realities. others have dug in their heels. The chicago union right now looks retrograde, looks ridiculous. Rahm will win this battle. [emphasis mine]
"Shockingly untenable." Understand that John Heileman - as far as I can tell - has no experience as a teacher, administrator, or education researcher. I'm not even sure he has a decent background in statistics or econometrics; he's mostly a political writer. And yet, on the basis of... well, I don't know what, he's prepared to say that taking a position against the use of standardized tests in teacher evaluations is "shockingly untenable."
Perhaps we should turn to some more informed opinions. Let's ask a few people who know a little about education:
While those who evaluate teachers could take student test scores over time into account, they should be fully aware of their limitations, and such scores should be only one element among many considered in teacher profiles. Some states are now considering plans that would give as much as 50% of the weight in teacher evaluation and compensation decisions to scores on existing poor-quality tests of basic skills in math and reading. Based on the evidence we have reviewed above, we consider this unwise. If the quality, coverage, and design of standardized tests were to improve, some concerns would be addressed, but the serious problems of attribution and nonrandom assignment of students, as well as the practical problems described above, would still argue for serious limits on the use of test scores for teacher evaluation. [emphasis mine]And who are these people who hold this "shockingly untenable" view?
Gosh, do you think these actual research scholars, deeply familiar with the issues of standardized testing and teacher evaluation, might know something that a political writer doesn't?
Now I know how climate scientists feel...