It is hard to see how the new expectations for teacher observation can be sustained and still meet the intent of the law if each observation is as time consuming as has been the case, if extensive numbers of observations are required, if the pool of observers is limited to current school administrators, and if those administrators must continue to do everything they are now doing.The EPAC study also notes that districts were constrained by the DOE’s late notice to pilot districts of their grant awards.
[A]dministrators generally had a more positive view of these evaluation rubrics than did teachers. For instance, 74% of administrators agreed that the evaluation rubrics assessed teachers accurately, as did 32% of the teachers. Similarly, 75% of administrators agreed that the rubrics generated information that provided useful individual feedback or guidance for professional development, as did 53% of teachers. These differences may not be surprising given that teachers are being evaluated and administrators are not, but the patterns persist across many items.For more on this, see Blue Jersey’s commentary.
While some differentiation between teacher performance levels occurred in some districts, in the majority, there was a heavy weighting towards the effective and highly effective ratings. All of these figures show that a diminishingly small number of teachers were given an ineffective rating. Districts A and C had no teachers earn this rating (the zeroes are not rounded figures). In half of the districts for which there is data, no teachers were rated ineffective. In all cases, teacher ratings skew heavily towards the upper two categories.Rutgers:
Overall, there was a significant range in how districts utilized the rubric. For example, in one district, 60% of teachers received the highest score, while in other districts, only 6% received the top score. However, the modal score was 3 in all but one district, indicating that the vast majority of teachers were judged using a term such as proficient. Few teachers in most districts received a score of 2 or below. In most districts, scores are clustered at 1 or 2 points that are relatively high on the scale. However, there are a substantial number of scores given in the lower part of the scale, especially for one district.Hey, maybe all our teachers really are great.
With at least two local teacher associations among the pilot districts challenging the legitimacy of the new system for teacher evaluation, the use of the new program for dismissal or other personnel decisions would likely be extremely tenuous for administrators this year. There was also evidence that administrators, especially principals, truly believe that all of their teachers are effective and that personnel decisions need not to be made. This mindset would also limit the use of the teacher evaluation tool for personnel decisions.
Labels: DOE, tenure, VAM