Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Teacher Evaluation System Examines Classroom Performance

I'm all for increasing performance, but most of the time it's not the fault of the teachers if students aren't learning. The culture's totally FUBAR, as I've written here many times. That said, I'm not against the classroom observations, as discussed at the article. It depends though: Who are the evaluators? If it's a bunch of progressive educators marinated in failed methodologies of reform (I don't do "group work", for example), will teachers get a fair shake? A lot of these evaluation systems seem punitive. Still, it's a complicated issue, for while I'd probably stand with the unions against flawed evaluations, I'd oppose them on fiscal reforms and teacher pay and benefits. Anyway, at least the fear factor pushes teachers to excel in the classroom.

At New York Times, "Teacher Grades: Pass or Be Fired":
The evaluation system leans heavily on student test scores to judge about 500 math and reading teachers in grades four to eight. Ratings for the rest of the city’s 3,600 teachers are determined mostly by five classroom observations annually, three by their principal and two by so-called master educators, most recruited from outside Washington.

For classroom observations, nine criteria — “explain content clearly,” “maximize instructional time” and “check for student understanding,” for example — are used to rate the lesson as highly effective, effective, minimally effective or ineffective.

These five observations combine to form 75 percent of these teachers’ overall ratings; the rest is based on achievement data and the teachers’ commitment to their school communities. Ineffective teachers face dismissal. Minimally effective ones get a year to improve.
Ouch! That is harsh!


Bruce Hall said...

... and, by the way, we're reducing your benefits.

Time to consider teaching just a fill-in until you can get the job you really want. Besides, if parents really wanted effective teachers, they'd let schools get rid of disruptive students [space fillers] and set student expectations for performance [no advancement to stay with your age group].

Aw, that might affect the self-esteem of the little darlings.