On the Origin and Political Significance of Test-Based Teacher Evaluation and Compensation

I’ve been receiving a fair amount of email following Wednesday’s forum at Kleinhans Music Hall, and some folks are looking for a more extended analysis of New York’s Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR). It occurs to me that a publicly available paper in the Journal of Inquiry and Action may be useful in providing a broader context for the discussion. The article offers,

an analysis … of the origin and political significance of test-based teacher evaluation and compensation (hereafter noted as TBTEC for purposes of brevity). The push for TBTEC is connected to broad changes in local and national governing arrangements as they relate to official claims that there is simply not enough money in the public treasury to support public education as in the past. The connection between demands for the radical restructuring of public education in general and TBTEC in particular, and the demand of the wealthy elite to cut spending on public education (and nearly every social program), provides an important starting point for the study of the origins of and political significance of TBTEC systems from a historical, economic and political vantage point. To this end, the paper asks: what are the origins and political significance of current TBTEC schemes and what does this analysis suggests for effective opposition to current education “reform” efforts?

This article was a “contributors to this special issue of The Journal of Inquiry and Action [to] provide insight into why the Obama administration’s educational policies manifest the dominance of neoliberal ideology over most elements of social life. The articles presented herein build on the work originally presented in The Phenomenon of Obama and the Agenda for Education: Can Hope Audaciously Trump Neoliberalism? (Carr & Porfilio, 2011).”

Note that I am now revising this article for a second edition of the The Phenomenon of Obama book (suggestions are welcome). I’ve also just completed edits for another article to be included in a forthcoming volume on the topic of teacher evaluation: Garrison, M. J. (under contract). Measurement as politics by other means: The case of test-based teacher evaluation. In K.E. O’Hara (Ed.), Teacher Evaluation: The Charge and the Challenges. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. This forthcoming article discusses New York’s APPR in particular.

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