Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Superintendent Tucker on the Radio

Worthington's new Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Tucker, participated in a discussion about the state report card on Ann Fisher's program "All Sides" on WOSU radio. Ann Fisher pressed Dr. Tucker about the difference between "Excellent" and "Excellent with Distinction".  Dr. Tucker  correctly points out that other districts in Central Ohio received the "Excellent with Distinction" rating with worse scores than Worthington but because they had more "growth", they received a higher grade.

Let's use a football analogy as we celebrate the start of the football season. Let's say that Mark Sanchez throws 30 touchdown passes for the Jets this year and receives an "A". Now let's say that Tom Brady throws 15 touchdown passes for the Patriots this year and also receives an "A" because of the low standards for getting an "A" that the NFL has. Fast forward to next season where Sanchez throws 31 passes and again gets his "A" but Brady improves to 22 passes and earns an A+ (excellent with distinction) because he "grew" more than Sanchez even though Sanchez clearly had the better stats.

You can catch Dr. Tucker's comments on the WOSU podcast starting at around the 27 minute mark.

1 comment:

  1. While looking for some info on Dr. Tucker, who has apparently been offered a position in my corner of the state, I ran into this old post and couldn't help myself....

    The analogy you give is a false analogy. The school report cards (which are extremely flawed, from my experience) are supposed to evaluate the performance of the school, not the students. In your analogy you're effectively grading the student. The appropriate analogy would be the grades assigned to the coaches. The quarterback coach who improved their QB's performance from 15 to 22 might be the better coach than the one who had superior talent to work with (let's just neglect that Brady>Sanchez, ok :) ).

    Of course, that also leaves out all the other factors - for example, did the WR corps on one side get replaced with much better talent, so it really isn't the QB coach's work that made the difference?

    (and that gets to how fundamentally flawed many of the teachers' evaluation systems are. Many of the evaluations based on test scores are so unreliable that you'd be just as accurate flipping a coin to decide "teacher merit")