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Developing an Evaluation System for Teachers - Lessons Learned

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Developing an Evaluation System for Teachers - Lessons Learned

Many states are developing new systems to evaluate teachers. While some have been successful, others have encountered significant problems. The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has been studying issues related to teacher effectiveness for the last year and a half, and one of our areas of focus is the way teachers are evaluated. As part of its review, our group of teachers, administrators, legislators, and advocates heard a presentation on the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) and the progress on Kentucky's Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES).

These articles provide more details about new evaluation systems across the country:

New system: Half a teacher's evaluation will be based on an observation ... OhioTeachers Could Strike Over State's New Teacher Evaluation System

City, Teachers' Union Praise State-Imposed Teacher Evaluation

Feds, state in standoff on new teacher rating system - Chicago

Texas districts test new teacher evaluation systems for state model. Against all odds, there is something that's smaller in Texas. Who knew it would be controversy?

Good scores not enough to stop criticism of new evaluation

Memphis' new teacher evaluation system

One writer detailed why some systems don't work in Teacher Evaluations: Where They Went Awry. In another piece, Teacher Evaluations: We've Got to Come Up With a Better System, we learn more about the way California uses test scores. I share these to emphasize the fact that there is serious controversy about these new systems.

Kentucky, a leader in many reform areas, is moving slowly in its development of a new evaluation system. By making the deliberate decision to go slower, the state has allowed greater participation and input from stakeholders and is learning daily from the experiences of other states and their systems. Kentucky's process is detailed in an issue brief produced as part of the Prichard's Team on Effective Teaching work, Evaluating Teachers: Kentucky's Approach to Creating a Successful System , work that has been sponsored by the Committee on Economic Development.

As we all advocate to have high-quality teachers in every classroom we must support systems that focus on teachers' growth. It is so important not to rush to get this done but instead to encourage the input and feedback of all stakeholders.

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