Latest News and Comment from Education

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: A Chance To Improve Teacher Evaluation

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: A Chance To Improve Teacher Evaluation

PA: A Chance To Improve Teacher Evaluation

No sooner had I written about taking back teacher evaluation, then a note crossed my desk about SB 751 and HB 1607.

Pennsylvania's teacher evaluation system is currently pretty lousy. There is nominal commitment to the Danielson model, a time-consuming pre- and post- observation process that involves a big bunch of online paperwork and Q & A answering, a cumbersome process involving Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) that-- well, it might be a stretch to say that nobody really understands SLOs, but I think it's fair to say that how SLOs play out for teachers depends an awful lot on how your local administration interprets the process.

And after you suffer through all that, your evaluation score still depends a lot on scores on the Big Standardized Test (in the Commonwealth, that's PSSAs for elementary and Keystones for secondary).  Your school gets a rating (SPP/Future Ready Index) that is about 90% test score based (the numbers are massaged a couple of different ways then added back together). If you teach a tested subject, you get another little jolt of test score magic. After everything is all factored together, you'll find that you are somewhere in the acceptable middle. All PA administrators are apparently required by law to keep repeating, "Nobody lives in distinguished. You just visit." The state doesn't want a whole bunch of awesome teachers for some reason, but the practical result is a bunch of teachers who get to have one or two peak years and thereafter look like they went back to slacking off.

Currently evaluation is about 50% observation, and and the rest a combination of processed and CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: PA: A Chance To Improve Teacher Evaluation