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Your school district wants to evaluate teachers based on their students’ scores on standardized tests. In this case, you will use Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel to create the evaluation system.
Your state’s education officials complain that virtually all the teachers in your school district are rated as good or excellent by their school principals. There are surely bad teachers, state officials say, but they are not identified and the problem is not addressed.
Therefore, the public school district has been instructed by state education officials to devise an accountability system to identify good teachers and bad teachers. Good teachers would be paid more. Bad teachers would be retrained so that they improve, or they would be fired. Fired teachers then would be replaced by good teachers. In this way, officials believe that teaching would improve and students would learn more.
In the new system, subjective evaluations by school principals will not be the only measure of teacher success. In addition to principal evaluations, an objective method is needed to measure teacher performance. Your state’s standardized tests are considered a reliable measure of student learning, which means that the test scores could be used to help measure teacher performance objectively. According to some state officials, teachers whose students do well on the tests are doing a good job; poor test scores must be a sign of bad teaching. The concept of matching teacher performance with student performance is highly controversial.
In your state, public school begins with kindergarten. Starting in first grade, elementary students take a standardized test at the end of each school year. The test has a reading section and a math section; the summary score ranges from 0 to 1000. These standardized tests are given for grades 1 through 8; the test becomes more difficult and comprehensive each school year.
Your district superintendent thinks that parental involvement is a key factor in a student’s motivation and learning. The superintendent wants parents to supervise their children’s homework, meet regularly with teachers, and be involved with the school. The superintendent thinks that children of “involved” parents usually do better in school. In your district, K-8 teachers are required to note the extent of parental involvement, and to report this information as a rating to the principal and the superintendent. Teachers are required to document these ratings by recording missed meetings, missed homework assignments, and so on. District officials think the ratings are reliable because they are documented and are rarely debated by parents.
You have been asked to develop an accountability system that incorporates standardized test scores and parental involvement ratings. Your model will be a prototype. The model will use test score data for all second-grade students in the district. To develop a sample group for comparison, you have identified three second-grade classes in a district school. You have two years of data for students in these classes.
An Access database file named TeacherEval.accdb contains your data. Use Windows Explorer to copy the TeacherEval.accdb database, which is in the MN1505 subfolder within the Management folder on the pclabs (ourdatateaching) (R:) drive, to your Y: drive. [If your Y: drive is full you may need to delete some of its contents to be able to do this].
The tables in the file are discussed next. Figure 1 shows the first few records of the Year1Students table.
Figure 1 Year1Students table records
The table shows each student’s ID number and indicates whether parents are involved in the student’s education. Each second-grader in the district is assigned a unique student number. A lack of parental involvement is indicated by the text value “YES” in the LackOflnvolvement? field. If the parents are involved, the entry is “NO.”
The district had 548 second-grade students in Year 1 of your model. A companion table called Year2Students holds data for second-grade students in Year 2 of your model. The two tables contain two different sets of students. By sheer coincidence, Years 1 and 2 had the same number of second-grade students, 548.
Your model will also include two years of student records for three second-grade teachers in a particular district school. The teachers are named Smith, Jones, and Casey. Figure 2 shows the first few records of the Year1ClassAssignments table.
Figure 2 Year1ClassAssignments table records
The three teachers each had 23 students in their second-grade class each year. Each teacher’s class has a unique number. Here, teacher Smith’s Year 1 class was number 1. The table shows how individual students were assigned to each class. Each student is given a unique number, which is the table’s key field.
Figure 2 shows that teacher Smith had students 1, 2, and 10 among the 23 assigned to her. Teacher Casey’s class of 23 included student 5.In your district, most students attend the school in their neighbourhood. Occasionally, parents request that their child attend a school other than their neighbourhood school, but such requests are not always honoured. Within a school, the principal assigns students to a teacher; the teachers are not allowed to request particular students.
A companion table called Year2ClassAssignments shows how students in Year 2 were assigned to the same second-grade classes used for Year 1. No students were “kept back” at the end of Year 1, so no Year 1 students reappear in a teacher’s class in Year 2.
Each second-grade student in the district took standardized tests at the end of first grade, and again at the end of second grade. Scores for Year 1 students are summarized in the table Year1StudentTestScores.
The first few records of the table are shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3 Year1StudentTestScores table records
Student l’s scores on the two year-end tests were 453 and 456. Each year’s test emphasizes maths and reading, and each succeeding test is more comprehensive and more difficult. Thus, Student 1 did not appear to progress greatly in second grade. Student 2’s second-grade score appears to represent a decline in ability. Student 3’s second-grade test score shows improvement over Year I , although the scores are not high in either year.
The YearlStudentTestScores table has 548 records, one for each Year 1 student. A companion table, Year2StudentTestScores, contains records in the same format for second-grade students in Year 2 of the model.
Your model will use two criteria for assessing teacher performance.
1. Criterion 1: The average test score is computed for a second-grade class taught by one of the sample group teachers. The average test score is also computed for all second-grade students in the district. If the sample teacher’s class average is higher than the district average, the teacher is rated “good” for the year; otherwise, the teacher receives a “poor” rating for the year.
2. Criterion 2: Each student has a first-grade test score and a second-grade test score. The average test score improvement is computed for the sample teacher’s class and for all second-grade students in the district. If the teacher’s class has a better average improvement than
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