Saturday, November 19, 2011
University of Chicago researchers believe their teacher evaluation study could drive national discussion
There's a national move toward beefing up teacher evaluations and linking them to test scores, but experts say there is very little research about the best way to get the job done.
But University of Chicago researchers believe their recently completed work on the topic has national implications.
The consortium studied a teacher evaluation system for two years looking at 44 schools in 2008-2009 and 101 in 2009-2010, using the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching as its guide, The framework has been adopted as the Illinois state model.
Chicago previously used a system that both administrators and teachers found arbitrary and unfair, with 93 percent of the city's teachers rated superior or excellent – and 0.3 percent were deemed unsatisfactory. This was as 66 percent of the schools were falling short of state standards.
The Danielson program rates teachers on planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities.
Both teachers and principals received training, and teachers were observed twice a year with conferences to discuss practices.
Using a rubric based on the Danielson plan, principals and trained observers – usually retired teachers and principals – who watched the same lesson consistently gave the teacher the same ratings. But they were most likely to agree on teachers who were not performing well.
Teachers liked the Charlotte Danielson system, Stoelinga said, believing it to be more effective than their current evaluation program.
The report showed that training is important for principals to rate teachers effectively. Read more
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