|Texas school's improvement coordinator (source unknown)|
Again, you can't quantify learning. Any empirical study of learning will fall short and give only a partial understanding of something far deeper than numbers. Students are not just a collection of numbers (right). A teacher's impact on a student's learning, psyche, and emotional well-being cannot be represented with a number. To do so, is to insult our profession. We are asked to be a teacher, parent, counselor, mentor, coach, etc. to our students, and some people want to judge us by a kid's score on one test?
There are other problems with being data-driven. It doesn't take a holistic view of the student or classroom. Any number of factors could explain a low score on a test; personal issues, test anxiety, bad questions, vocabulary issues, etc. The data-driven mentality also breeds a certain type of gamesmanship in education, encouraging school leaders to only focus on the "bubble kids". As my superintendent recently pointed out, ALL students are "at-risk", and to give special attention to a narrow portion of the student population only so they can pass a test pushes us farther from our mission statement. Does this line up with our philosophy as educators? Why pander to a bogus evaluation system? Will constant remediation and gamesmanship inspire life-long learners? We should be data-informed, and driven only by needs of kids.