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Human Capital Management

Why We Still Can’t Understand Value-Added

Analogies are important. While often imperfect, they help us make connections and better understand our world. That’s why I think it’s a shame the education field has yet to come up with good analogies for…
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Don’t Cross the Streams

A quick report from the trenches. We’ve been working these past weeks in Rhode Island helping stand up their more complex projects with Race to the Top and to help them performance manage the many…
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You should have been a doctor!

My doctor friends are always amused when education folks hold up the medical field as the exemplary profession. But medical envy is rampant across classrooms, offices, and the blogosphere, where the frustrated opine: “If only…
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For Whom the Bell Curves

The debate, if you can call it that—“jibber jabber” might be a better term (thanks, Mr. T!)—over linking student achievement data to teacher and principal performance started on the wrong foot and seems to be…
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Conflation Frustration

Data-driven does not mean value-added metrics (VAM).  And VAM is not the same thing as merit pay. The last few weeks have been an exciting time for K-12.  There’s all the media attention being showered…
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Anyone who is involved in establishing pay-for-performance compensation models for teachers and principals should spend a little time in advance reading up on Dan Ariely (The Upside of Irrationality), Daniel Pink (Drive) and other behavioral…
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Grading Teacher Performance

We have to move beyond this notion that we cannot measure what students know.  We may not have the perfect instrument now, but virtually every other profession, including doctors whom we expect to make real…
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