Teacher Evaluation
The debate surrounding teacher evaluation is going strong in Michigan.  The legislature and governor (both Republican-controlled) had hoped to have this this wrapped-up this fall, but the small committee assigned to work on this recommended otherwise.  As such, more time is being taken at the state level to gather input from stakeholders, try a pilot program in various schools, and reevaluate the situation in 6-12 months.  The main debate centers around the use of student test scores when determining a teacher’s job performance rating.  Some folks want to go so far as using standardized test scores as a blanket means for measuring teacher effectiveness for ALL teachers, even if you don’t teach a “tested” subject.
Music Teacher Evaluation
Music educators have begun meeting in Michigan to loosely form cohorts interested in providing feedback to the state about these decision.  These groups are not “official” by any means, but are more ad-hoc in nature. The main objectives in Michigan for music teacher evaluation are:
1.  Evaluate based on things unique to the music classroom
2.  Utilize an assessment of performance, but minimally and not tied to festival ratings
3.  Ideally, have an administrator evaluate teaching/leadership/management concepts, and have a trained (perhaps retired) music educator evaluate the musical aspects of a teacher’s performance
4.  Base an evaluation on a teacher’s adherence to their curriculum

5.  Allow the individual teacher (or group from within a district) to collaborate with local administrators to develop an evaluation tool that is right for them, based on the needs of specific local school systems (i.e. NOT one size fits all)