Diane Ravitch explains why we need a full scale repeal of the teacher evaluation laws that we have called for in our petition (go to link or see right side of this blog).
From Diane's blog:
While I fully agree with Diane's assertion that we need to throw out an evaluation system that "has no research to support it," I completely disagree with her assertion about teachers "doing just fine, thank you." We are hurting Diane.
Most of us hate the multiple Danielson observations as well as the assessments used to rate us. Some of us have been discontinued who were rated effective while tenured teachers have been charged with incompetence who were never rated ineffective. The system is a disaster.
As for what we should replace it with, our friend Carol Luchessi posted this on Facebook.
Carol Lucchesi James Eterno Please read up on PAR. Try a link in the New York Times, Montgomery County, Md., PAR, written by Michael Winerip. PAR is IMHO the most balanced approach to evaluations. The reason it wasn’t used around the country is because Montgomery County refused to use test scores, and therefore lost Federal funding under RTTT. Due process is still afforded to all teachers, and an outside administrator is also on the committee, with teachers and the principal, and I believe a parent rep, so that the school principal can’t overtake the committee. I really would like to see this system used nationwide. Like to know why Lily and Randi don’t advocate for it. Then again haven’t heard a peep out of them over the brutal treatment of striking teachers in Puerto Rico!
Here is more information on PAR.
This sounds positive but in reality I don't think PAR or any other evaluation system has much chance of working in NYC today because in too many schools there are toxic cultures. For far too many principals and assistant principals it is a matter of controlling teachers. These administrators play gotcha with the teachers. That has to end. Danielson makes it easy to force teachers to teach in fear. The culture will not change as long as there is constant pressure to increase promotion and graduation rates. All it has led to is widespread grade inflation and credit recovery scams.
The traditional S/U system causes the least amount of damage for the most teachers as it mandates a minimum of only one formal observation for the year for tenured teachers on maximum. Going back to that will allow many teachers to stop watching their backs each day about when the next Danielson driveby is coming. In addition, the burden of proof was on administration in all tenured teacher dismissal hearings under the traditional system. It is preferable to what we have now with Danielson and the invalid tests along with teachers bearing the burden of proof in dismissal hearings if they have two ineffective ratings in a row. We have already documented how more people are being charged in termination hearings under the new system as compared to when the anti-teacher Michael Bloomberg was mayor but we still had the S/U evaluations so please don't tell me how the test scores save teacher ratings. If your kids do well on exams, that could always be raised as a defense.
Our petition to repeal the evaluation laws has gathered some steam. Let's keep it going. Teacher evaluation is on the table up in Albany. Contact your legislator and tell him or her that you want the evaluation law completely repealed.