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Links of the Day:

– The state and teachers agreed on a new teacher evaluation system. It will be implemented in every district in the state.

Teachers will be rated on a score of 1 to 100 and will fall into four categories: ineffective, developing, effective and highly effective.

  • Twenty percent of a teacher’s rating will be on student scores on state tests.
  • Twenty percent will be on tests of their district’s choosing.
  • Sixty percent will be based on classroom observations and other criteria developed by each district, but the state must approve the plans.

Districts can grade teachers on a curve, something that might be useful in high-needs districts. But the state must approve the curve or districts risk losing aid. If a student shows progress, but the scores are low, a teacher’s rating may not be negatively affected.

I’m eager to see how this works in urban districts. I can see how this will be useful, but I can also see how it could be used punitively or backfire. A parent activist group in New York City asks some critical questions and points out flaws in the system.

This deal came on the dame day a New York Times columnist hailed a teacher evaluation system in New Haven that got rid of 2 percent of teachers. All this hullabaloo to get rid of 2 percent of teachers? Let’s say those teachers needed to go. Now what?

– Monroe Community College isn’t the only community college in Western New York embroiled in a fight over where to expand. Erie County wants to build on its suburban campus, but others are pushing for a downtown location.

– More doctors are “firing” families who refuse to get their kids vaccinated.

– It might not be a good idea to put prison inmates in charge of decals for cop cars.

9 Responses to Teacher Evaluations. They’re Here.

  1. The education crisis is false and these tests and how they are used are mainly for breaking teaching as a profession and unions. What the tests really show is the gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country and how it is increasing. Failure in education is based primarily on the level of poverty. When poverty is alleviated schools and neighborhoods improve. Schools are a reflection of the neighborhoods they are in. Education doesn’t alleviate poverty and very few are able to move up. Usually there are other factors that affect the few students who do move up rather than school.

  2. February 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm Diane Koska responds:

    Rachel, I work in a school as a secretary. I see dedicated teachers every day and I see students who never come to school, parents who can’t be found when called for issues. Cell phone numbers that never work when you need the parent. I watch as the language gets fouler. The testing is not helping, it’s hurting. Teachers and schools are under fire for everything. Since when is there no parental responsiblity?

  3. February 16, 2012 at 7:52 pm Reggie Henderson responds:

    The tests only accounted for 20% of the evaluation, the kids past performance is taken into account, and the evalutions were used in New Haven to get rid of just 2% of the teachers, I think that’s worth the hullabaloo. Why wouldn’t 98% of the teachers want to get rid of the worst 2%? And going through a lot of effort to identify and get rid of a few bad teachers seems to me effort well spent.

  4. February 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm Reggie Henderson responds:

    Now what? Now your kid isn’t going to be stuck in a class with one of the bottom 2% teachers.

  5. February 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm margaret responds:

    It is all demographics. Put a teacher in a high needs district, the results are predictable. Put the same teacher in a wealthy district on Long Island or Westchester County, and the same results are predictable. Show me the money(in the district) and I will show you the results. Sad, but true. In the poor districts the parents have not graduated from high school and know nothing about college or higher education. In the wealthy districts…all downstate…a few around here…the parents know what education is, and know what their children must do. Yes, folks, there is a difference. Be a parent to your child; you don’t have to be his/her friend. Get an education yourself!

  6. I think the evaluation system looks ok, from what I’ve seen so far but, as it always it, the devil’s in the details. Perhaps I’ve just become cynical over the years, but I’m pretty sure I already know how this will play out. The state will dump a pile of paperwork on the districts and State Ed will use the implementation of this system as a reason they can’t be cut in the new budget at all, and in fact need to hire consultants and new staff. There will be a link on this blog to a NY Times story about serious problems in the process preparing for implementation. A little bit later we’ll find out that there are serious discrepancies between districts in the quality of evaluations and conformity to the new state regulations. RCSD will be one of the districts with serious problems. Once the results are in the state will declare it a success and everyone else will use the numbers to advance their own agenda. For example the usual teacher bashers will be complaining about not enough teachers being rated as ineffective. And we will do nothing to expand early intervention or vocational education and training and wonder why that “accountability” alone can’t accomplish impossible goals.

  7. Pingback: Educating Johnny » The Rochesterian

  8. You’re right. The devil is on the details. A teacher needs to score higher than 75 to be considered acceptable. I don’t think thats like the 2% everyone is talking about. That means we only KEEP 25%.

  9. March 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm susan responds:

    Urban teachers will become the scapegoats for all problems of poverty, if test results for students with poor attendance are factored into the evaluation.

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