[Susan notes: Certainly, this letter won't change the opinion of Mr. Lipshutz, author of the article and one of the principal trial attorneys representing the nine student plaintiffs challenging California education laws dealing with tenure, dismissal and seniority in Vergara v. California. But one can hope after receiving many letters making this critical point about poverty, the newspaper staff might be aware that the public is catching on.]
To the editor
Joshua Lipshutz ( The legal road map to better schools, July 8) points out that "...the easiest inputs to measure are not necessarily those that matter most to student learning." Vergara judge used one that doesn't matter: Teacher quality as measured by gains on standardized tests. A number of studies have shown that rating teachers using test score gains does not give consistent results. Different tests produce different ratings, and the same teacherÃ¢€™s ratings can vary from year to year, sometimes quite a bit.Ã¢€Â¨ Also, using test score gains for evaluation encourages gaming the system, trying to produce increases in scores by teaching test-taking strategies, not by encouraging real learning.
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