Reply To: Teacher Evaluation Portal

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Thanks for your post. You bring up the biggest question in all of this… the reliability of teacher effectiveness based upon student work (test score or otherwise). Linda Darling-Hammond and others have suggested the same about some of the issues related to using standardized test data as a means to measure teacher effectiveness. You have likely read a bit about this when you see the term “Value-added Models.” My initial reaction is always that assessments and evaluations are only reliable for the purpose that they were intended to measure – if the assessment tool was used to identify growth in student learning, then it should be used only for that purpose. In a perfect world, we should have “effective teacher standards” by which we could measure teacher improvement. Many states have these as do some professional organizations (including the national arts educators association – If you review those standards, you’ll note that the teacher could potentially share evidence of their student learning as a means to support their effectiveness, but it is most likely that they will need to offer personal reflections to explain their achievement of those standards.

So much of this, of course, will depend upon how your particular school district or state chooses to interpret this language. If I were faced with the issue you describe, I would start by explaining what effectiveness would constitute based upon the goals and objectives I have established for the year. Then, using that, I would likely provide a combination of student work (maybe pre-test/post-test surveys or samples of compositions/performances before and after they were taught), personal reflections describing the growth of my students, observations/evaluations of my effectiveness from peers/administrators and perhaps comments and thoughts from students/parents/colleagues about their perceptions of my work. I would conclude by offering reflections on my progress toward meeting my goals and objectives.

I’m not sure how helpful I have been, but I would be happy to continue our dialogue. I will also make a few others aware of your posting and encourage them to share their thoughts here as well!

Doug (