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Teacher Evaluations Evolve into Effective Tools
posted by: Cindy Omlin | April 03, 2013, 04:26 AM   
 New teacher evaluation systems, considered a landmark achievement of the education reform movement, are in the implementation stage in most schools. Combining student progress, test scores, and observation by principals, these new systems seek to provide teachers with a better picture of their real performance, a sharp contrast to previous years where teachers were yearly evaluated for twenty minutes.

Like any change, this shift will take time and will increase in effectiveness as the kinks are worked out. However, experts are warning that teacher evaluation systems could prove to be just lip service if they are not implemented properly. "It is too soon to say that we're where we started and it's all been for nothing," said Sandi Jacobs, vice president of the National Council on Teacher Quality. "But there are some alarm bells going off."

While some may question the effectiveness of evaluating teachers, especially in light of scandals like the Atlanta debacle, experts are hopeful that teacher evaluations will prove beneficial to all stakeholders. According to the New York Times, in Washington, D.C., officials replaced a system under which 95% of teachers were meeting expectations and 0.4 % received the lowest rating.

Three years ago, when the new method began, only 82 % of teachers were rated as "effective" or "highly effective." Two percent were rated "ineffective" and the rest "minimally effective." Now, 89 % received one of the top two ratings, and only 1 % were "ineffective," which Scott Thompson, the deputy chief of human capital for teacher effectiveness for D.C. public schools, said was evidence that the evaluations were making teachers better.

AAE's National Surveys further prove that teachers want meaningful evaluations that hold educators accountable. AAE members support a value-added model of student assessments when student test scores are used in part of teacher evaluation. This multi-pronged approach would include faculty reviews, test scores, and level of education among other criteria. Notably, years in the system continually ranks last among possible quantifiers of evaluation to our members.

The fact is consistent evaluation is a part of almost every job, and as professionals, teachers should look at this process as an opportunity to grow. An evaluation system that deems everyone "effective" cannot possibly be helpful. Teachers can use insight and feedback as a means to improve both themselves and their students via proper evaluations.

How are you evaluated in the classroom? Is the process helpful?
Comment below.


Originally posted by Ruthie at AAE.

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