Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In the Post

The Maryland legislature recently passed a new law that says test scores will be a "significant" component of teacher evaluations. All this to get in line to receive "Race to the Top" funds doled out by the Obama administration. Sounds like a start. Doesn't a good teacher help students learn? And how do we measure learning? Assessment. The Washington Post reports that the MCEA and school system leaders agreed to make 1/3rd of teacher evaluations dependent on test scores. Then Doug Prouty, MCEA President, promptly sends this email to union members that says nothing has changed, nor should it. Montgomery County is the model!

We have not changed our evaluation in anyway. We have no intention of doing so. The Teacher Professional Growth System has served us well for the past ten years and is a model for other systems around the country. The focus on collecting authentic data through formal and informal observations, bolstered by other data sources (including student achievement) has provided more meaningful feedback to teachers than the previous evaluation system or that currently being used by any other county in Maryland. The structured support for teachers and other educators the system provides is also unique in our state.

If MCEA doesn't think our evaluation system should imporve, or that the current law doesn't provide an opportunity to improve it, they are taking a decidedly narrow approach. It takes two years to remove even the most ineffective tenured teacher. Further, test scores are used in name only. Two out of six standards by which teachers are evaluated have mention of the use of assessment data. To say that test scores are already a significant portion of the Montgomery County evaluation system could not be further from reality.

1 comment:

  1. Data is great, unless it can be used against you. That's sensical.