One of the more hot-button debates in education over the past few years has been the issue of using student test scores to evaluate teachers. Last month, the results from the second part of the 49th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools demonstrated that the public is growing more skeptical of using student standardized test scores to evaluate teachers. See also this video about a new Michigan Teacher Evaluation program of a few years ago.
The poll began by asking respondents whether they favored states using standardized test scores to evaluate teachers in 2012. At that time, 52 percent favored using test scores. The results from 2015 painted a different picture, with 41 percent favoring the use of test scores to evaluate teachers. This year, the percent favoring the use of test scores fell yet again to just 38 percent. The sub-sample of parents in the most recent survey were even less supportive, with only 31 percent showing support.
With such a large drop, it is worth considering why support has fallen so precipitously. Are Americans growing tired of high-stakes testing? Have critics of standardized tests successfully brought attention to their distrust and potential misuse of high-stakes testing for teacher evaluation?