By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Numbers of states using teacher evaluations based, in part, on student test scores have grown and school districts are making decisions using those systems on firings and compensation.

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The rapid adoption is the result of requirements for states that compete for Race to the Top, federal education grants.

Additionally, 35 states require student achievement to be a “significant” or “most significant” factor in teacher evaluations.

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However, researchers Morgan Polikoff and Andrew Porter, who analyzed 8th grade math and English language arts data from 6 large school districts, found teachers who were well regarded on student surveys and principal classroom observations, had students who did poorly on tests and the opposite also was true. Important findings!

The Houston Federation of Teachers filed a federal lawsuit that the district’s “value-added method”, VAM teacher evaluations, violate educators’ rights, and recently the American Statistical Association urged against using VAMs for personnel decisions.

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Read more in The Washington Post.