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April 01, 2013

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Why not ask the students in more meaningful ways?

Gina, great question. There is a lot of work being done on student surveys of their teachers. I recommend this article by Amanda Ripley:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/10/why-kids-should-grade-teachers/309088/

Thanks, dana. It always helps to have the historical perspective.

For what it's worth, I am dubious of the professional learning opportunities afforded by the increased observations that are part of the new evaluation systems. Principals are overworked, and they often manage to generate the paperwork but can't necessarily follow up with the one-on-one discussions that would support teachers' learning. Add to that the complexity of instructional leadership, particularly in the secondary school (how do a few administrators have teaching expertise in all subjects and with all types of children?), and I see in many places the increased observations as mostly surveillance and compliance -- increased bureaucracy with limited professional learning.

I would love to hear from administrators who feel that the increase in observation is making a difference in instructional improvement (which, for me, ≠ test score increases).

Again, thanks for sharing your research.

Great article Dana! Keep it up. - Pedro Noguera

Thank you, Pedro!

Fascinating post, particularly for the little-known historical perspective on teacher evaluations.

I dug into some TNTP data and behavioral research to further explore the ideas of leniency bias and hiring risk for teachers: http://gppreview.com/2013/04/08/why-evaluation-systems-cant-identify-ineffective-teachers/

Fascinating historic perspective. Haven't come accross this fact before. Thank you, Dana! Good luck with your book. Can't wait to read it.

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