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Comment history

Youngstown school district needs strong guiding hand

The city school district is only on thin ice because it faces the challenge of meeting test performance requirements that are solely determined by the socio-economics of the student living conditions, not academic achievement. The tests and the rest of the test-driven accountability system do not measure the quality of the teaching or the amount of learning. A modicum of investigative journalism on the part of the Vindicator will reveal that Richard Ross and others at the state level are salivating at the prospect of being able to chew up the city schools and spit them into for-profit charter schools at tax payer expense. My advice to the editorial board is to stop drinking the Kool Aid of pseudo accountability being sold by the corporate-minded reformists in Columbus. I would like to remind you that when you control for the tremendous levels of poverty within the district, YCSD educators actually have performed extremely well. You are beating up the wrong people.

July 2, 2014 at 10:54 a.m. suggest removal

Uniform, more rigorous teacher evaluations begin

This state-imposed evaluation is fraught with bad science and bad mathematics. It is a “gotcha” in nearly every aspect. Even Battelle for Kids and EVASS, the two Ohio-based institutions contributing the most to the system agree that using one year’s value added date to evaluate teachers is wrong and indefensible. Value added is fraught with problems of extreme inaccuracy and should never be used to evaluate teachers no matter how many years of data are used. It is also untrue that for previous performance evaluations “there was no standard.” There were standards—each district developed their own standards for performance. Given that the teacher evaluation system is primarily based upon the Ohio Achievement Test, the system presents the public with results that are not credible because the tests are demonstrably invalid indicators of teacher effectiveness. Ohioans deserve better and so do our hard-working teachers. (Randy Hoover, emeritus professor, YSU.)

April 6, 2014 at 12:13 p.m. suggest removal

Third grade reading scores drop in Mahoning Valley

The drop in scores has to do with this particular test, not the students or their educators. It is time to end the false proxy of standardized tests and look at actual achievement.

December 14, 2013 at 11:22 a.m. suggest removal

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