May 19, 2011

A Formula For Strong And Effective Teacher Evaluations

Christina Giguiere earned a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and M.A. in Teaching at UC Irvine. While teaching first and third grade in Irvine Unified, she obtained a MS in Reading and Reading Specialist Credential and is passionate about literacy. Christina returned to UCI in 2007 to work as the Multiple Subject Credential Program Coordinator. In this role she fosters innovative partnerships with district and schools where the credential candidates are completing their student teaching. She implements professional development for elementary teachers and teaches courses about health, classroom management, lesson planning, assessment and education policy.
Teacher evaluation systems need to reward and support the most influential people in a child's education. A comprehensive evaluation system should serve to improve teacher quality and recognize highly effective teachers. Developing an innovative system is a complex process. However, because we value the impact that teachers have on student learning we must invest time and collaborate with school communities to improve the process for retaining teachers. Teacher evaluation systems need to be about clear expectations, providing teachers with data-driven feedback, and continuously supporting best practices.
I worked on a task force with members from a teacher preparation and induction coalition in Orange County. We developed a set of guidelines and recommendations for districts to use as they begin to design and implement robust teacher evaluation systems. Our guidelines encourage districts to: develop a system that is consistent and responsive to district goals; include common principles and systems that are consistently applied in the district; create transparency and clear expectations; and include quantifiable elements in all evaluations.
In addition to relying on student achievement data to measure teacher effectiveness, our task force believes teacher evaluations should be a formative and collaborative process and developed using multiple perspectives and measures. Observations should take place at several key points during the year, collaboration with colleagues and peer feedback should be an integral part of the system, and professional development support must be embedded. A tool for measuring instructional expertise, such as the Continuum for Teaching Practice used in California during induction, or the Teaching and Learning Framework implemented in D.C., allows teachers to engage in self-reflection, goal setting, and deep inquiry into practice. The Continuum or Framework provides a common language about teaching and learning, and can be used to promote professional growth within an environment of collaborative support. The tool also effectively provides teachers with an ongoing opportunity to reflect on and assess their own instructional practice.
The goal of reforming teacher evaluations is not to demonize ineffective teachers but to support and empower great teachers. Reflective educators want to be held accountable for improving student outcomes. We all must work together to develop policies for teacher evaluation that elevate the profession and value a teacher’s impact on students.
The views presented on our guest blogs are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of StudentsFirst. We thank all of our guest bloggers for their thoughtful perspectives.

No comments:

Post a Comment