Will the new teacher evaluation system improve instruction?

Jul 28, 2011 by

Jim Stergios – In Monday’s post, I went through the DC teacher evaluation system, IMPACT, which weights value-added improvements in student scores at 50 percent of the teacher’s evaluation, with the remaining half of the evaluation covering 22 areas (fit into 9 categories). Five classroom observations are held,

three times by a building administrator and twice by an outside “master evaluator” who is a subject-matter expert and does not report to the building administrator.

Teachers in tested subjects are evaluated by standards different from those used for paraprofessionals, counselors, special education teachers and others in the system, with teachers in non-tested subjects having only 10 percent of their evaluation based on student scores.

IMPACT also was developed without the buy-in of teachers unions. How does IMPACT stack up to the just developed Massachusetts teacher evaluation system? For Massachusetts’ Education Secretary Paul Reville, the Commonwealth has developed a “bold, pioneering teacher-evaluation system,” but is it?

The fact that the Massachusetts Teachers Association is supportive of the state’s new teacher evaluation system is not in and of itself a criticism—but when it is hard to get any grasp whatsoever as to the percentage of the evaluation to be based on improvements in student’s academic achievement, well, that should give us pause. And the fact that the



, the MTA’s parent organization, has maintained its opposition to the use of student standardized tests for the purpose of evaluating teachers should at least raise one’s suspicions.

The Lowell Sun and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette have done the best job of any media source in describing what the new regulations do. The Sun’s position is clear:

While the new rules are positive, they leave it up to individual school committees to decide just how much emphasis will be placed on the tests when it comes to judging a teacher’s performance. This serves to make teacher evaluations an open question from district to district. We suspect there will be some foot-dragging, especially where teachers’ unions remain a powerful force in electing school-board members and affecting policy…

We would hope that all school districts would adopt the new rules in full, giving MCAS test scores the major weight they deserve in the evaluation process.

The T&G goes further into the weeds of the regulations, and finds that the “new rules for educators seem made to disorder”:

via Will the new teacher evaluation system improve instruction? – Rock The Schoolhouse’s blog – Boston.com.

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