According to the transcript, Clinton responded, “I believe in diagnostic testing that teachers can use to try to figure out how to help individuals and classes deal with their learning challenges. I do believe that there can be and should be a set of tests that everybody agrees on.”
“And I have for a very long time also been against the idea that you tie teacher evaluation and even teacher pay to test outcomes,” she said. “There’s no evidence. There’s no evidence. Now, there is some evidence that it can help with school performance. If everybody is on the same team, and they’re all working together, that’s a different issue, but that’s not the way it’s been presented…”
In the last few years, nearly every state has implemented systems to evaluate teachers based in part on student test scores, largely because the Obama administration made it a condition for states to receive either a grant under Race to the Top or a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law.
But the practice has come under growing scrutiny. Last week, the American Educational Research Association became the latest organization to caution against using value-added models — complex algorithms that try to measure a teacher’s impact on student test scores — to judge the performance of teachers. It joined the National Research Council, the American Statistical Association and the Rand Corporation, which have all said that schools should not use these models to make important decisions about a teacher’s pay or employment status.