# Avoiding Plagiarism

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Avoiding Plagiarism Exercise

Step 1: Plagiarize: any portion of the original text by copying portions of it word-for-word.

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.

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

Sean Corcoran, an economist from N.Y.U., discovered that teacher evaluation systems had a “margin of error” of more or less 28 points on average after examining teachers in New York City. Therefore, no measure is entirely accurate because estimates of value-added and other “growth models,” that try to segregate the actual effect of an individual teacher through their students’ test scores are startlingly prone to error every year.

Step 3: Plagiarize: any portion of the original text by paraphrasing its structure too closely, with a citation of the original source (using any academic citation style). Remember, even if you include a citation, paraphrasing too closely is still plagiarism.

Teaching measures are not perfect, but the approximations of value-added and alternative “growth models,” in attempt to isolate the “true effect” of a particular teacher through their students’ test performance are shockingly prone to error, regardless of the year. According to Sean Corcoran, the average “margin of error” of a teacher in New York City was about 28 points (Ravitch, 270).

Step 4: Properly paraphrase: any portion of the original text by restating the author’s ideas in your own diction and style, and include a citation to the original source.

Diane Ravitch emphasizes the imperfections in teaching measurements through inaccurate correlations between the verifiable effects of a teacher and their students’ standardized test performance. Ravitch supports her claim with evidence from Sean Corcoran, who identified these significant discrepancies among teachers in New York City (Ravitch, 270).

Step 5: Properly paraphrase: any portion of the original text by restating the author’s ideas in your own diction and style, supplemented with a direct quotation of a key phrase, and include a citation to the original source.

Diane Ravitch draws evidence from Sean Corcoran to explain how teaching measurements are consistently inaccurate; and do not verifiably evaluate a teacher through their students’ standardized test performance because: “The average ‘margin of error’ of a New York City teacher was plus or minus 28 points” (Ravitch, 270).

Work Cited

Ravitch, Diane. The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education. New York: Basic Books, 2011. 270.