Monday, June 27, 2011

State board on verge of overhauling teacher evaluation process - The Boston Globe

State board on verge of overhauling teacher evaluation process - The Boston Globe Part of me wants to say WAAAH.

A look at ways to create a fair teacher evaluation system

In an article written in the Westchester Journal News by Alfred Posamentier argues the value of experience in teacher evaluation. However, experience alone cannot be the sole criteria for determining teacher effectiveness. Ultimately as we strive to maximize the effectiveness of our schools, we need to universally define the traits of a good teacher and develop ways to measure them, just as we do — often subconsciously — when we evaluate lawyers and doctors. Then we need to establish a panel of evaluators that would minimize any prejudices that could both negatively or positively affect the assessment of a teacher.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Don't Want to be a Teacher Any More

I Don't Want to be a Teacher Any More... Not my words and not my opinions,yet, but a very important message. Sacramento, Torlekson, Duncan, are you listening?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pink Slips a Way of Life? I hope not!

NPR posted an article about pink slips being a way of life. I know that our current ed code says that a district should send out pink slips in March for possible layoffs - even though there is a possibility of rehiring. What they don't get is the emotional upheaval this causes in the morale of staff. It seems that better planning on the part of districts and better budgeting process on the State's part would help decrease the number of "possible layoffs".

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Education reforms are signed into law

Education reforms are signed into law

I am glad to see a case where seniority is not the first or only criteria. I want to know more about the evaluation criteria which is being used to make firing and layoff decisions.

Great to see such collaboration between government, union and administration. Could be an interesting model.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Letter to the Editor

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Daily Journal - 4-tier rating system proposed for Colo. teachers; half of score would be based on test results

Daily Journal - 4-tier rating system proposed for Colo. teachers; half of score would be based on test results

I get why it is easy to use a standardized test in an evaluation system. But as a teacher who gets moved to a new grade level every year, it is difficult to master the new content while preparing students for a test - I should be preparing them for the next grade!

There are so many reasons why standardized student tests cannot be a reliable measurement of teacher effectiveness.
From PSEA: Some advocates of teacher evaluation reform suggest that student test scores are an appropriate measure of teacher quality. While contrary to a common perception, it’s essential to recognize that student performance and teacher performance are not the
same thing. The fact that client outcomes and professional practice are related only indirectly has been accepted in other professions: patients’ health outcomes may not reflect a doctor’s performance; nor can the size of a tax rebate say much about the quality of an accountant. Suggesting that one person’s job performance and another person’s outcome are directly related shortchanges both.

Using student outcomes to measure teacher practice is problematic for several reasons:
1) it assumes that the teacher controls all student behaviors that impact achievement, such as attendance, studying, eating well, sleeping well, and not abusing drugs or alcohol;
2) since the focus is on student, rather than teacher performance, it provides no clear information about ways teachers can improve their practice;
3) student outcomes may identify teachers who generate a particular test score, but they cannot be used to develop higher levels of effectiveness among all teachers.

PA Secretary of Ed Questions Teacher Assessment Methodology

According to Harrisburg Patriot News almost 97% of teachers are rated 'satisfactory or better" when 25-33% of students are scoring below proficient on standardized tests.

Raises obvious questions:
1 - How effective is your teaching evaluation system?
2 - Is there any link between teacher effectiveness and standardized test scores?
3 - Should student test scores be used to evaluate teacher effectiveness?
4 - How valid are standardized test scores in evaluating student learning?

In the meantime, PSEA (PA's version of CTA) has proposed reforms on teacher evaluation processes

More to follow. Your thoughts?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Spencer's Scratch Pad: Fifteen Paperless Math Strategies

Spencer's Scratch Pad: Fifteen Paperless Math Strategies: "BEFORE #1 - Critical Thinking Description : Students answer critical thinking questions such as, 'Are numbers neutral?' or 'When are decima..."

Friday, June 3, 2011

5 Tips for Success - in school, business and in life

5 Tips for Success - in school, business and in life

David Andrade relays 5 tips for success from Naveen Selvadurai, one of the founders of Foursquare (He is from Connecticut).

In a nutshell:

Be Curious

Keep Learning

Don't Be Afraid to Fail

Be Passionate

Keep Good Company