David Gamberg is the superintendent of two neighboring districts on the North Fork of Long Island, Southold and Greenport. He shows here how bizarre it is to evaluate educators based on the test scores of students they never taught. This is sometimes called “shared attribution.”

 

He makes the point by using an analogy.

 

Suppose all doctors in the community were judged by the weight loss of every community member?

 

We will assess eye doctors, podiatrists, and pediatricians based on the results of data gleaned from a community’s ability to lose a specific amount of weight by a specific date on the calendar. You happen to be a pediatrician who has just begun your practice, and as such you work in a relatively poor community. Within the first few years of practice your license is revoked due to “poor performance.” You never get to a point in your career where you might consider opening a practice in a more affluent community. This, despite the fact that you are well respected, and have made significant inroads into improving the health and well being of community members in that less than wealthy neighborhood.
To further skew the validity of the measurement the fact remains that the weight loss data was conducted in a poor neighborhood, among community members who may not have attended college, and had less access resources that might bolster their chances of success. Sure, some community members rose above their circumstances and met their weight loss goal, but they were the exception to the rule. Thus, the eye doctors, podiatrists who also practiced in this community as well as the pediatricians who were held to this one size fits all standard suffered the personal and professional consequences of the poor performance of the patients within this area.