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Innovative Teacher Evaluation Practices
Connecticut's Guidelines for Educator Evaluation and Professional Development contain some "hidden" areas of flexibility that, if capitalized on, can reduce burdens on educators, foster greater levels of collaboration, and ultimately, improve teaching and learning.
The Every Child Succeeds Act, passed on December 15, 2015, will also give districts more flexibility when it comes to teacher evaluation. Some districts across the state are already thinking outside the box when it comes to teacher evaluation. Region 9, for example, uses peer coaches to foster collaboration and improved teaching practice. Region 9's peer coaches do not evaluate their colleagues, but do provide constructive feedback on the lessons they've observed, which promotes increased dialogue about what good teaching and learning looks like.
If your PDEC would like help in identifying areas of flexibility to get your district thinking outside the box, the CEA's Department of Policy, Research, and Reform is here to help. Please contact Kate Field, CEA's Teacher Development Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Much of the discussion about the use of student standardized test scores to evaluate teachers has centered on how unfair the "value-added" method is to teachers because it is unreliable and can — and does — label effective teachers as ineffective too often.
Research-Based Options for Education Policy Making, by William Mathis, is a 10-part brief that takes up important policy issues and identifies policies supported by research. Each section focuses on a different issue, and its recommendations for policymakers are based on the latest scholarship.
Dr. Marzano's Teacher Evaluation Model
Dr. Marzano's teacher evaluation model purports to be the first "research-based", "valid, reliable and defensible" teacher evaluation model. A link to validation studies supporting this assertion can be found here.
Kim Marshall is widely considered an expert in the field of teacher evaluation. Read about her rationale and suggestions for implementation of teacher evaluation rubrics.
Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching
Charlotte Danielson's work in teacher evaluation, upon whose ideas most of CT's school districts' current evaluation plans are based, is revolutionary. The Pennsylvania State Education Association even has information about her work on a page linked to its home page.
New Teacher Project
Boldly stating, "Everyone agrees that teacher evaluations are broken", the New Teacher Project offers six standards that any teacher evaluation plan of quality should meet. The New Teacher Project's mission is to end educational inequality by ensuring that excellent teachers go into the districts in which they are most needed. The New Teacher Center is dedicated to improving student learning through "accelerating the effectiveness" of new teachers. One of their largest contributors is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
NHPS Teacher Evaluation and Development Process
The New Haven Public Schools adopted a much-touted and somewhat controversial system of evaluating teachers in conjunction with the American Federation of Teachers' Connecticut affiliate. The system is based on teacher ratings of 1 (Needs Improvement) to 5 (Exemplary).