# AVOID PLAGARISM!

Posted on

Original text:

No measure is perfect, but the estimates of value-added and other “growth models,” which attempt to isolate the “true effect” of an individual teacher through his or her students’ test scores, are alarmingly error-prone in any given year. Sean Corcoran, an economist at New York University, studied the teacher evaluation systems in New York City and Houston. He found that the average “margin of error” of a New York City teacher was plus or minus 28 points. So, a teachers who has ranked at the 43rd percentile compared to his or her peers might actually be anywhere between the 15th percentile and the 71st percentile. The value-added scores also fluctuate between years. A teacher who gets a particular ranking in year one is likely to get a different ranking the next year. There will always be instability in these rankings, some of which will reflect “real” performance changes. But it is difficult to trust any performance rating if the odds of getting the same rating next year are no better than a coin toss.Original source: Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System. New York: Basic Books, 2011, pp. 270-71.

Example 1: Plagiarize the original text by copying portions of it word-for-word.

Sean Corcoran, an economist from New York University, studied the teacher evaluation programs in New York City and Houston. He found that the average “margin of error” of a New York City teacher was about 28 points.

Example 2: Plagiarize the original text by paraphrasing its structure too closely, without copying it word-for-word.

It is difficult to trust any performance rating if the chances of getting a similar rating next year are no better than rolling a dice.

Example 3: Plagiarize the original text by paraphrasing its structure too closely, and include a citation. Even though you cited it, paraphrasing too closely is still plagiarism.

A teacher who gets a certain ranking at one point in their career may be more prone to recieve a different score the next year. (Ravitch, 270)

Example 4: Properly paraphrase from the original text by restating the author’s ideas in different words and phrases, and include a citation to the original source.

“It may be troublesome to fully trust any performance evaluation if recieving a similar performance evaluation the following year is merely a task of probability.” (Ravitch, 270)

Example 5: Properly paraphrase from the original text by restating the author’s ideas in different words and phrases, add a direct quote, and include a citation to the original source.

Dr. Sean Corcoran, a graduate of University of Maryland at College Park (Economics) and current researcher at NYU studied the systems of evaluating teachers in both New York State and Texas, “He found that the average “margin of error” of a New York City teacher was plus or minus 28 points…”

Diane Ravitch goes on to explain this phenomenon further:

“So, a teachers who has ranked at the 43rd percentile compared to his or her peers might actually be anywhere between the 15th percentile and the 71st percentile. The value-added scores also fluctuate between years. A teacher who gets a particular ranking in year one is likely to get a different ranking the next year…” (Ravitch, 270)

### Carlos Velazquez

Trinity College Class of 2014. Educational Studies Major. Concentration: Race, Social Class and Social Relations in Urban Education.

## One thought on “AVOID PLAGARISM!”

1. While this post demonstrates a basic understanding of the assignment, there are some errors that need to be identified and corrected.

Example #4 asks you to properly paraphrase the original text. You did this, but mistakenly placed the words inside quotation marks, which only should be used when directly quoting from the text.

Example #5 asks you to properly paraphrase and add a direct quote, but your response is basically two long quotes with almost no paraphrasing of the idea in your own words.

Finally, the post was missing a full reference to Ravitch’s book at the bottom of the page.

I suggest that you redo #4 and #5 and show me to make sure that you fully grasp the differences between properly paraphrasing, directly quoting, and plagiarizing.

PS: This is a commonly misspelled word, and the correct version is: plagiarism.