Follow AAE on:

Subscribe to RSS Feed:

New Teacher Evaluations Being Debated
posted by: Alix | February 01, 2011, 02:20 PM   

The debate over "value-added" methods of evaluating teachers has caused controversy all over the country. While most agree that we must find a way of fairly evaluating teachers, not many agree on the method. One common thread of a new evaluation system is a new focus on student achievement.

In Tennessee, part of their success of securing Race to the Top funds was their promise to implement a new "value-added" system statewide. Under this developing system 50% of teacher evaluations would be depended on student performance. The other half of the evaluation will come from a principal's classroom observation, but the state is still deciding what model to use. Some schools are piloting various models to see how they could work in the classroom.

In New Jersey, a task force has been assembled by Governor Chris Christie to make recommendations for a new teacher evaluation system. The Governor has been receiving national headlines for his tough talk on tenure and teacher accountability. The task force is expected to come up with a plan by mid-February.

In Idaho, State Superintendent Tom Luna has also proposed a new plan that would implement a similar "value-added" system. Under the "Students Come First Plan," 50% of teacher evaluations would also depend on student performance but would also take into account, parental review, and faculty and administrative review.

Although this system may seem cut and dry to people in other professions, many teachers are concerned about potentially skewed results in urban settings and in certain key grade levels. With these systems newly emerging, the balance between accountability and best practices is paramount.

AAE members have varying opinions on teacher evaluations according to our most recent member survey. Although AAE members do not support evaluations entirely composed of student achievement, eighty percent of teachers surveyed support a value-added assessment when student test scores are used as part of teacher evaluation. Student test scores ranked higher in evaluating teacher effectiveness, second only to administrative/ faculty review.

The move toward a comprehensive teacher evaluation system is gaining steam nationwide. Make sure to follow the developments in your home state and district.

What do you think of these new systems?
Comment below.

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by xiaoya, June 18, 2012

Samaras has said his party wants to remain in the eurozone and alter existing policies, including stringent

austerity measures, to "achieve development and offer people relief." His leading rival, Alexis Tsipras of the

left-wing, anti-bailout Syriza, had called for the deal to be torn up.

European Union leaders hailed the vote, with eurozone finance ministers praising results "which should allow

for the formation of a government that will carry the support of the electorate to bring Greece back on a path

of sustainable growth."

And in a joint statement, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council

President Herman van Rompuy said in a joint statement that they "support the continued efforts of Greece to

put its economy on a sustainable path."

"Today, we salute the courage and resilience of the Greek citizens, fully aware of the sacrifices which are

demanded from them to redress the Greek economy and build new, sustainable growth for the country," the EU

leaders said.

Tsipras congratulated New Democracy late Sunday, but said his party's nearly 27% showing has forced Greek

leaders to realize the bailout "is a nonviable economic plan."
Faculty - Teacher Education Department
written by University of New Mexico-Farmington, February 02, 2011

Just as we know one high stakes test is not an accurate measure of student achievement, we also recognize that evaluating teachers only on student achievement cannot be a fair evaluation.
There should be a triangulation of assessment along with self reflection, which is what teaching is all about- reflective practice.

If we continue to reduce the interwoven complexity of teaching, classroom populations, economics, politics into byte size pieces of information unrelated to the context in which they are situated, we fall into the danger of one size fits all thinking. In this sophisticated age of thinking and doing, teacher assessment has to go beyond an inquisition model. Teacher assessment should be reflective of effective practices and teachers have the right to teach effectively instead of being held prisoners and hostages to the demands, in the name of education reforms, that are antithetical to efficacious practice. Above all, relevant and meaningful teacher assessment has to be considered or else professional teacher assessment will become as stifled and cadaverous as the tests students are made to take. Do we question the validity or reliability of the high stakes tests being mandated within school districts on which monumental decisions are based with such fervor as we do with teacher accountability?

School communities are complex, cultural organizations addressing distinct issues and dynamics in their goal of educating students and can not, nor should be reduced to reductionist thinking. There is no simple cause and effect; learning is mutually causal, perspectival, indeterminate, morphogenetic and complex. Teaching is a dynamic system reflective of a new paradigm and this should be considered and honored in any comprehensive teacher assessment.

Submit a comment
 (not published)
smaller | bigger

security code
Write the displayed characters