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Sunday, October 27, 2019

CURMUDGUCATION: Taking Back Teacher Evaluations

CURMUDGUCATION: Taking Back Teacher Evaluations

Taking Back Teacher Evaluations

There's a slowly-rising tide of writing out there focusing on principals and evaluations, quietly returning focus to the idea of making evaluations meaningful.

It's a welcome change, because the status quo for the past over-a-decade has been the junk that disruptors stuck us with, in which teacher "evaluation" meant "slap some Big Standardized Test scores together and call that the teacher evaluation." As many folks pointed out repeatedly, this is a super-crappy way to evaluate teachers. And worse, reformsters were insistent that these crappy evaluations should be used to make employment decisions. Fake junk papers like TNTP's oft-referenced "Widget Effect" were used to justify the idea that schools should be firing teachers whose students got low test scores, and only paying good salaries to teachers whose students get high scores,  and if we could get rid of "tenure" and FILO and just fire our way to excellence then education would be saved.

This was a stupid idea. It was always stupid, it's still stupid, and I look forward to the day when it's like polyester bell-bottoms and pet rocks and people look back at it and ask, "How did anyone ever think this was anything except stupid."

Sadly, that day has not yet arrived. Still, some writers are starting to suggest that teacher evaluations could be reclaimed as useful tools for principals to use to help teachers do better work.

Take, for instance, this piece from the ever-stodgy Education Week, supported in part by the ever-reformy John Arnold Foundation and written by Denise Superville, an assistant editor at EdWeek. "8 Ways to Make Teacher Evaluations Meaningful and Low-Stress" is almost like a relic from another CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: Taking Back Teacher Evaluations