U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-10-2012, 02:51 PM
 
2,032 posts, read 2,415,880 times
Reputation: 1499

Advertisements

How do you think teachers should be evaluated?

High-stakes test scores? Too many variables unrelated to teacher performance.
Percentage of students passing? Again, too many variables, and besides teachers would have a tangible reason to inflate grades.
Observations? Not enough time (in most schools) for administrators to effectively evaluate all teachers.
Student feedback? Not a good idea for many obvious reasons.

Any combination of the above?
None of the above?

Obviously the buzzword is accountability. However, how can accountability fairly be defined for both teachers and the district?

I despise high-stakes examinations for a number of reasons, one of those reasons being that I have yet to see a high-stakes examination which is truly holistic. Therefore, I would like to see such examinations eliminated all together; therefore I surely wouldn't use them to evaluate teacher performance.

In my opinion, a synthesis of highly individualized student 'action plans' (formulated after students have been in classes a certain time; say, a month) and ongoing assessment would be an effective method of analyzing student achievement; I would tie these results in with teacher performance. This, combined with administrative/peer observations, teacher participation in professional training, and teacher activity in the 'life' of the school would constitute the evaluation of educators.

At least that's my 2 cents. Thoughts or suggestions?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-10-2012, 03:04 PM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 4,820,260 times
Reputation: 2971
Direct observation by third party subject matter experts. Either that, or by in-district subject matter experts whose sole duty that year is evaluation (though not all districts are big enough to do that).
Yes, it is expensive, but cheap compared to the effectiveness of the alternatives.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-10-2012, 03:21 PM
 
2,032 posts, read 2,415,880 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by marigolds6 View Post
Direct observation by third party subject matter experts. Either that, or by in-district subject matter experts whose sole duty that year is evaluation (though not all districts are big enough to do that).
Yes, it is expensive, but cheap compared to the effectiveness of the alternatives.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-10-2012, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
5,168 posts, read 6,359,296 times
Reputation: 6055
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpv View Post
How do you think teachers should be evaluated?

High-stakes test scores? Too many variables unrelated to teacher performance.
Percentage of students passing? Again, too many variables, and besides teachers would have a tangible reason to inflate grades.
Observations? Not enough time (in most schools) for administrators to effectively evaluate all teachers.
Student feedback? Not a good idea for many obvious reasons.

Any combination of the above?
None of the above?

Obviously the buzzword is accountability. However, how can accountability fairly be defined for both teachers and the district?

I despise high-stakes examinations for a number of reasons, one of those reasons being that I have yet to see a high-stakes examination which is truly holistic. Therefore, I would like to see such examinations eliminated all together; therefore I surely wouldn't use them to evaluate teacher performance.

In my opinion, a synthesis of highly individualized student 'action plans' (formulated after students have been in classes a certain time; say, a month) and ongoing assessment would be an effective method of analyzing student achievement; I would tie these results in with teacher performance. This, combined with administrative/peer observations, teacher participation in professional training, and teacher activity in the 'life' of the school would constitute the evaluation of educators.

At least that's my 2 cents. Thoughts or suggestions?
For the sake of discussion, let's assume I am a secondary social studies or English teacher. I teach six classes with an average of 22 students for a total of 132 students. Students have now been in school for about six weeks, so I would have now produced 132 highly individualized student "action plans." What would or could they say? How long would these take to write? Assuming I could write a highly individualized student action plan in an hour, that would take 132 hours. Let's assume that I start on October 1 and spend two hours a day, seven days a week writing these plans. I would get finished somewhere around December 6th. That is 14 hours a week that I did not spend correcting tests, quizzes, papers or homework or preparing for my classes.

I think I would rather see some type of testing that is critical to whether the student moves forward to the next grade, and looks at the improvement over an established baseline. For simplification purposes, assume the average percentile score of my students in the tested subject area was 50%. At the end of this year the average percentile score is 55%. I would rather spend the time trying to improve the average reading level of my students as opposed to writing highly individualized student action plans with generic objectives. Special education teachers already spend too much time with the paperwork involved in writing IEPs. This time is better utilized with actual teaching.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-10-2012, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
5,168 posts, read 6,359,296 times
Reputation: 6055
Quote:
Originally Posted by marigolds6 View Post
Direct observation by third party subject matter experts. Either that, or by in-district subject matter experts whose sole duty that year is evaluation (though not all districts are big enough to do that).
Yes, it is expensive, but cheap compared to the effectiveness of the alternatives.
What about teachers who are great performers when they are observed but are lazy and cranky the rest of the time?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-10-2012, 07:52 PM
 
3,559 posts, read 4,598,293 times
Reputation: 4652
I think we need to do it like it is in other jobs.

We need to have very specific job specifications.

For instance:

  • plan, prepare and deliver instructional activities that facilitate active learning experiences
  • develop schemes of work and lesson plans
  • establish and communicate clear objectives for all learning activities
  • prepare classroom for class activities
  • provide a variety of learning materials and resources for use in educational activities
  • identify and select different instructional resources and methods to meet students' varying needs
  • instruct and monitor students in the use of learning materials and equipment
  • use relevant technology to support instruction
  • observe and evaluate student's performance and development
  • assign and grade class work, homework, tests and assignments
  • provide appropriate feedback on work
  • encourage and monitor the progress of individual students
  • maintain accurate and complete records of students' progress and development
  • update all necessary records accurately and completely as required by laws, district policies and school regulations
  • prepare required reports on students and activities
  • manage student behavior in the classroom by establishing and enforcing rules and procedures
  • maintain discipline in accordance with the rules and disciplinary systems of the school
  • apply appropriate disciplinary measures where necessary
  • perform certain pastoral duties including but not limited to student support, counseling students with academic problems and providing student encouragement
  • participate in department and school meetings, parent meetings
  • communicate necessary information regularly to students, colleagues and parents regarding student progress and student needs
  • keep up to date with developments in subject area, teaching resources and methods and make relevant changes to instructional plans and activities
Most of these are observable behavior and none of them say:


Be all things to all students.


Solve all of societies woes.

When a student is failing and you have counseled the student, tutored the student, and conferenced with the parent, take the blame.

...or any number of things that should not be asked of us.

If I am a doctor and I choose to treat cancer victims who acquired lung cancer from smoking and I use all the appropriate protocols, should I be punished because more of my patients die than, let's say, the obgyn? Should I be paid less or more for taking on a more difficult group of patients? Should the obgyn receive accolades for having such a low mortality rate? If do everything that I can do, should I be held responsible for the things I cannot?


Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-10-2012, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
20 posts, read 34,689 times
Reputation: 32
Or, measure teacher performance by tested student growth in the subject - compared to other students who are tested in the same subject at other schools and begin the class with a similar test history.

There are still a large batch of variables, some of which the teacher cannot control, but it is results driven and contains less subjectivity.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2012, 07:19 AM
 
3,559 posts, read 4,598,293 times
Reputation: 4652
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty3d View Post
Or, measure teacher performance by tested student growth in the subject - compared to other students who are tested in the same subject at other schools and begin the class with a similar test history.

There are still a large batch of variables, some of which the teacher cannot control, but it is results driven and contains less subjectivity.
What should be done with students' scores who:

Are special ed? Often those students' rate of growth is at a much slower pace. Should those scores be counted?

Transient students scores? Students who move from school to school is a huge issue in my district. Usually, there are so many huge gaps in their knowledge that they do not make much progress.

Behavior issue students? These are the students whose main purpose is to do what they want in your classroom and do not give a hoot about their education and impeding the education of others. They slow down the pace of instruction for everyone.

Students who are chronically absent? They pretty much don't learn anything.

Students who come from highly disfunctional homes? They come to school with mental anguish on their plates, that their thoughts are almost never on what is going on in the classroom.

Students who are skipping school?

Apathetic students? They do not want to be in school, but are forced to be there. They will go through the motions to keep adults off their backs, but hate school and learn nothing while they are there.

Students who refuse to do any homework to practice what they have learned in class?

Classes that have 40 students?

Students that come to school high? Teachers should be held responsible for those students' lack of achievement?

Students who copy other students' homework and then do not achieve on tests? This is specifically common in mathematics.

Teachers who are honest and do not violate the security test measures? The tests are supposed to be secure, but every teacher has unsupervised access to them for at least a small amount of time. I am convinced that cheating is more wide-spread than is reported.


And what about when teachers are handed curriculum that they must implement, but know it is bad pedagogy? In my district, someone with access to the budget decided to purchase a curriculum for $18 million. It is horrible, but I am required to use it. Believe me when I tell you, it will be here today and gone tomorrow. Should I be held accountable when I have so little input into the curriculum choices?

PE classes. Are we going to test math students on their math ability and not the PE students on their athletic ability.

Please, do not trot out that tired old argument about how, if the good teachers were truly good, they would inspire all the students who come to school with these issues (after all, how many could there be anyway?). I get one day. That's it. Then I must move on to the next concept. Fun, project based learning is very time consuming not to mention costly.

Don't believe, either, how Hollywood portrays the education system. You know, Jaimie Escalante shows up at high school and is the only teacher that cares and is capable and takes these poor children who have been neglected by the education system and uncaring teachers. That's Hollywood and they take "artistic license" to any degree they want. It does not have to resemble the truth.

Grading teachers using standardized tests has been implemented back east and is going down in dismal failure. It's a horrible idea, but I have no doubt it will be used for a while longer and many great teacher's careers will be destroyed until it is finally revealed for what the awful thing that it is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2012, 10:27 AM
 
2,032 posts, read 2,415,880 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
For the sake of discussion, let's assume I am a secondary social studies or English teacher. I teach six classes with an average of 22 students for a total of 132 students. Students have now been in school for about six weeks, so I would have now produced 132 highly individualized student "action plans." What would or could they say? How long would these take to write? Assuming I could write a highly individualized student action plan in an hour, that would take 132 hours. Let's assume that I start on October 1 and spend two hours a day, seven days a week writing these plans. I would get finished somewhere around December 6th. That is 14 hours a week that I did not spend correcting tests, quizzes, papers or homework or preparing for my classes.

I think I would rather see some type of testing that is critical to whether the student moves forward to the next grade, and looks at the improvement over an established baseline. For simplification purposes, assume the average percentile score of my students in the tested subject area was 50%. At the end of this year the average percentile score is 55%. I would rather spend the time trying to improve the average reading level of my students as opposed to writing highly individualized student action plans with generic objectives. Special education teachers already spend too much time with the paperwork involved in writing IEPs. This time is better utilized with actual teaching.
Excellent points. The action plans don't appear to be viable for high school teachers. It might work for elementary.
How do you think teachers should be evaluated, then?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2012, 12:16 PM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 4,820,260 times
Reputation: 2971
Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
What about teachers who are great performers when they are observed but are lazy and cranky the rest of the time?
That's why you have full time observers. Figure in a department of a dozen teachers, you could observe every single teacher for a full day 15 times per year. That's 70-100 classes per teacher per year.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top