Tonawanda News

Opinion

November 7, 2013

CEPEDA: Teacher evaluation reforms surprising

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Therefore teachers think there can be no suitable evaluations — if all teachers are fundamentally good, then their craft cannot be adequately graded with even the best rubric.

Headlines about those singled out for improvement led to all teachers feeling sorely undervalued. And then there was all the news about statistics showing that only a little over a quarter of teacher-preparation programs restrict admissions to students in the top half of their class.

So in return for their many selfless sacrifices — often in communities where poverty and scant parent support makes teaching more difficult — teachers felt as though they were being unfairly painted with a broad brush of underachievement.

But as the National Council on Teacher Quality suggests, there must be rigorous annual evaluations and subsequent supports for improvement for all teachers.

“Teacher evaluation policy should reflect the purpose of helping all teachers improve, not just low-performers,” the report says. “And if teacher effectiveness evaluations aim to help all teachers get better — including going from good to great — then all teachers need feedback.”

Furthermore, the report notes, school-wide professional development must be tied to needs identified in performance evaluations for all teachers, not just those with low ratings.

This really puts a different spin on things — who wouldn’t prefer to be appraised along with peers instead of feeling like he or she has been singled out for being an “underperformer”?

But it sure won’t be easy.

Under the old standards of evaluation systems, 99 percent of teachers were routinely deemed to be “effective,” regardless of student achievement.

As the council’s report says: “Moving from a system that rates everyone as just fine to one that differentiates performance is daunting and requires a culture shift, and data from early implementers show just how hard it is. Some administrators may not yet have the skills to evaluate instruction, give constructive feedback and have hard conversations with underperformers.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014