As promised, here is the conference committee report: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=ccrhf1870.html&session=ls87
People ask me what I think of the teacher evaluation piece and I agree that there has to be a way to either get under-performing (or vocationally-mismatched) teachers either up to speed or out of the classroom, but the reliance on standardized test scores as part of that calculus continues to trouble me.
As many of you know, I'm a real baseball fan and I lean toward the traditionalist side of analyzing the game as opposed to the relatively recent movement toward heavy statistical analysis to gauge player performance. It's not that I don't value statistics (including some of the measures that use multiple regression analysis and have acronyms that make following baseball seem like a study of New Deal history), it's just that there is often a "space between" statistics that contain more than a kernel of truth and often "push" the statistical measures.
Taking the baseball analogy one step further, sometimes you see a player whose statistics aren't all that great, but that player often does the little things that make the players around him better. They are reliable. They don't screw up. They make the plays they are supposed to make. They'll never win a batting title or hit a 500-foot home run. But they show up. And by "showing up," I don't mean they simply occupy space. These are players that do the dirty work and I worry that if we start to gauge these players (teachers in this analogy) simply on what their batting average is, we'll be heading in the wrong direction.
Aren't you glad you asked?
Welcome Back Blois. Blois Olson's Morning Take is back up after brief hiatus. For those of you who don't subscribe to Blois' morning news update blog, you are really missing the boat. Great national and local political news. Olson puts a ton of work into this blog and it's a real plus for those of us who follow Minnesota government and politics.
Here's the link. I highly recommend subscribing and getting your day off to an infomationally nutritious breakfast.