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Webinar Targets Use of Classroom Portfolios to Evaluate Arts Educators

It's no secret that pressure is mounting on teachers to demonstrate their contributions to student learning. Standardized test scores have become a key ingredient to the approaches in many states, though that method remains controversial. Leaving that debate aside, a big challenge is what to do when such data simply is not available.

Tennessee is offering up one answer with an alternative component to its teacher-evaluation system for the arts. The idea is for individual teachers to assemble portfolios of their students' classroom work, which are then peer-reviewed by fellow educators. Experts say the initiative could serve as a model for other states, as well as teachers in other disciplines. In fact, Tennessee is already testing out a similar approach with foreign-language educators.

We'll explore the Tennessee approach in an Education Week webinar on Monday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m. Eastern time. What does it look like? How is it being received by arts educators? What are particular challenges of getting this approach right? And can it work in other disciplines? To answer these and other questions, I'll be joined by two guests:

  • Dru Davison, the fine arts adviser for the Shelby County school district in Tenn., and a consultant to both the Tennessee Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education
  • Marcy Singer-Gabella, an education professor and associate chairwoman of teacher education at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College

You can register here.

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