This week the Colorado State Senate is holding hearing about Senate Bill 191. Essentially the bill changes the way that teachers in Colorado receive tenure. The bill directly ties teacher tenure to student achievement.
To many outside the field of education, this sounds like a great idea. Heck, I think it's a great idea, however, there is one major problem. How do you measure that student achievement?
Colorado has been giving its students the CSAP test for over ten years now, and still it seems that economic status has a bigger impact on those scores than any other factor.
How then, can the state determine whether a teacher is doing their job by how a student scores on a test?
My next question is this? How would the new system work for areas like the arts and physical education? If little Billy can't play a perfect C major scale does his music teacher fail? If little Susie can't run a twelve minute mile does her P.E. Teacher loose his/her job?
These questions need to be answered before anyone thinks about making teachers jobs dependent on their students test scores. After all, kids are individuals not standardized test scores.