New data lets districts link student performance to teacher

Through the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), school districts now have access to data that links students, their courses and the teacher of that course through the Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL). Currently, the data only reflects spring 2011 high school tests.

With teacher evaluations being tied to student achievement, MDE warns districts that the length of student contact time with a teacher and whether a course is an appropriate measure of student performance in a particular content area have to be taken into consideration.

The district superintendent will be the only one authorizing access to the data and it's expected that building administrators--not individual teachers--will have that authorization.

Frank Ciloski, MEA Professional Development consultant recommends, "Each local association may wish to enter into an agreement to ensure prompt and complete reporting to an individual teacher of the results. TSDL data does not provide a means to measure student growth, but status and achievement data from these assessments could be used as an additional component of an educator evaluation."

Fall 2011 elementary middle school results will be posted in late Feb. or early March.