Fine-Tuning Teacher Evaluation Classroom observations, student achievement, and feedback from students are important, but they’ll only improve education if they’re used wisely.
masks quotidian realities of classroom
Not surprisingly, MET researchers have life. Day-by-day teaching practices
As many states and districts rethink teacher super- vision and evaluation, the team at the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) found that one classroom observation a year doesn’t give an accurate picture of a teacher’s work. They suggest several enhancements: using a good rubric for observations, observing teachers four are what drive student achievement.
If administrators don’t see those prac-
tices, their evaluations are inaccurate,
dishonest in terms of quality assurance,
and not helpful for improving mediocre
Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda
times a year, having more than one
and ineffective teaching practices.
Gates Foundation, has analyzed thou-
observer evaluate each teacher, and
Further, detailed feedback after infre-
sands of lesson videotapes and studied
improving administrator training. In my quent, full-lesson observations, because
the shortcomings of current practices.
The tentative conclusion: Teachers
view, these don’t deal adequately with
the serious design flaws in the conven-
of its inauthenticity and bulk, is a “weak
lever” for improving teacher performance
should be evaluated on three factors—
tional teacher evaluation model.
(DuFour & Marzano, 2009). Filling out
classroom observations, student
For starters, four evaluation visits
elaborate rubrics after every visit, as the
achievement gains, and feedback from
a year aren’t nearly enough to sample
MET study suggests, creates an impos-
students. The use of multiple mea-
what students experience daily, espe-
sures is meant to compensate for the
cially given the fact that most official
imperfections of each individual measure classroom visits are scheduled in
and produce more accurate and helpful
advance. If teachers know their eval-
sible workload for administrators, leaving
less time for informal classroom visits and
interactions with teacher teams. School
leaders in Tennessee are suffering this fate
evaluations (Kane & Cantrell, 2012).
uator is coming, they tend to take their
under the state’s cumbersome new evalu-
This approach makes sense, but its
performance up a notch, which means
ation system (Anderson, 2012). Time is
effectiveness will depend largely on how evaluators are seeing better-than-normal a precious commodity for overtaxed
classroom observations, achievement
teaching. In addition, when an admin-
school leaders, and they can’t afford to
data, and student feedback are used.
istrator walks into a classroom, students spend it on bureaucratic tasks of ques-Here are some suggestions.
usually behave better, which again