Like many other states, South Carolina is currently beta-testing a value-added model for teacher evaluation, a large component of which is based on student growth measures. Our SCMEA task force on teacher evaluation is currently developing recommendations for music teacher evaluation in the hopes that our state dept. of education will implement a system that measures a music teacher’s effectiveness based on his/her own work (evidenced in large part by student growth measures in music), not on school-wide value-added measures based on standardized math and science test scores.
One of the questions that has arisen touches on higher education and teacher preparation programs: Won’t basing a large percentage of a teacher’s evaluation on student growth create a disincentive for K-12 teachers considering taking on a student teacher? Handing over a class to a student teacher for several weeks suddenly seems a bit scarier considering the higher stakes involved. Currently K-12 mentor teachers receive certification renewal credits for this important work, but I’m thinking there would need to be some additional concessions or latitude extended to those who open their classrooms to novice teachers if student growth measures end up affecting pay/effectiveness evaluations. Just wondering if Doug or others know of how other states are handling this.
You are correct, Michael – teachers ARE refusing to host student teachers in their classrooms. In our area (Rochester, NY), we have three colleges with music education majors, and our district has received increased requests for cooperating teachers because of this. Fortunately for those local programs, at least 25% of our music teachers have accepted student teachers for next year.
Considering the warp speed at which policy changes, CCLS, teacher evaluation practices, etc. are being implemented, one would hope that certification programs would be given some type of grace period to review/revise their curricula for education students. Sadly I hear that that is not happening.
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