Thursday, May 27, 2010

Great conversation

Worth the price of admission (free) to read the comments on Jay Mathews' blog today about how we should evaluate teachers. Any comprehensive evaluation system should have multiple data points that corroborate claims of teacher performance. Practicality aside, I appreciated the following comments:

A list, off of the top of my head, that I would think should be considered are...

1. Several short evaluations by outside evaluators.
2. Several informal evalutations by administrators in the school. (Note: These need to be more realistic then IMPACT, which while a good start is unrealistic in what is expected in 30 minutes AND there is way too much room for intepretation)
3. Student input. Seriously, students know a frightening amount about who are and are not the good teachers. You would have to find a way to separate teachersstudents like vs. those they learn from.
4. Objective measures of professionalism... Does the teacher respond to parents? Does the teacher get to school on time? Does the student engage in professional development and collaboration with their co-workers?
5. What does a teacher do for a school besides his/her direct teaching. Do they run
a club, support tutoring after school, etc...
6. Test Scores- I guess I should list these, because it's going to come up. However, without some method of measuring growth by student, rather then generically, it is just a waste of time at best, and discourages the best teachers from teaching the weakest students at worst.

In other news, MCEA teachers approved the new contract. I voted against it- on principle only.

And finally, the Balitmore Sun blasted MCPS. The more and more I read the more and more I wonder about what is going on behind the scenes. I just don't get the sense that MCPS or MCEA are having any conversations about reform. So I'm just left scratching my head.

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