Instructional Leadership in Action

Anacortes Transforms Teacher Evaluation

by Anneke Markholt Sep 1, 2011

Beyond 'Satisfactory': A Teacher Evaluation Pilot Focused on Professional Growth

Evaluations that tell teachers “You’re OK” or “You’re good enough” say little about actual  classroom practice and provide no targets for professional growth.  But that’s the evaluation system that pervades Washington State education – a system that the Center for Educational Leadership, in partnership with the Anacortes School District, is working hard to overhaul.

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CEL Participating in Washington State's New Teacher Evaluation Pilot

by UWCEL Dec 1, 2010

Washington State's recent legislation calling for development and implementation of a new Teacher/Principal Evaluation (Pilot) program has set off an intensive discussion among educators and communities statewide about what good teaching looks like and how to evaluate it.  The new law (E2SSB 6696 - Regarding Education Reform (2010)), enacted in support of the state's efforts to participate in Race to the Top, requires Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to partner with the Washington Education Association, Washington Association of School Administrators, the Association of Washington School Principals, and the Washington State Parent Teacher Association to design a process for improving the state's principal and teacher evaluation systems.

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Tying Teacher Evaluation to Student Achievement - Caution, Yellow Light Ahead by Susan H. Fuhrman

by UWCEL Nov 30, 2010

As first appeared in Education Week on April 7, 2010. Reprinted with permission from the author.

The Obama administration, through its Race to the Top initiative, is encouraging states to develop approaches for evaluating teachers that incorporate student-achievement results. This aspect of the program has been controversial, prompting some teachers’ unions to refuse to endorse state applications for competitive federal grants. However, a number of efforts to develop such indices of teacher effectiveness are under way, and the American Federation of Teachers’ president, Randi Weingarten, has publicly endorsed including student-achievement results along with other measures to evaluate teacher success.  It is likely, then, that some form of teacher evaluation linked to student achievement will play a significant role in a number of upcoming policy initiatives. It is therefore critical, in order to ensure fairness to teachers, that any plans to reward or punish them for gains their students have or have not made control for differences among students in their family situations and other factors that are beyond the teachers’ control. The best method for ensuring that evaluation includes such controls is called the value-added approach.

Recently, the National Research Council and the National Academy of Education jointly issued a report on value-added approaches, based on findings from a November 2008 workshop funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and co-sponsored by the NRC and the NAEd. The report’s goal was to provide policymakers with an improved understanding of the potential role of value-added methodologies, given their known strengths and weaknesses, so that officials could then better decide whether (and how) to implement them in their jurisdictions.

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Tying Teacher Evaluation to Improved Instructional Expertise

by Stephen Fink Nov 22, 2010

As I listen to the national education conversation, recently heightened and hyped by the movie Waiting for Superman, I am troubled that the current conversation has set up a false dichotomy that obscures the deeper challenges associated with improving the quality of teaching for every student.  The current conversation suggests that if we can just find a way to get rid of those bad teachers in our ranks, and reward those good teachers, then all will be well with the world.  This false dichotomy obscures the more fundamental reality which is that there are very few completely ineffective teachers and conversely very few completely effective teachers.  With this month’s newsletter theme of teacher evaluation, I want to focus my message on the larger national education conversation that has spawned, among other things, the effort to overhaul teacher evaluation and accountability systems. 

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