endorsed evaluation models that include the use of student achievement data based on standardized tests. The NEA has been mostly silent on the issue. In this Education Week article, NEA Leaders Propose Teacher-Evaluation Shift, I find that the silence was due to policy resolutions that restricted their leaders from engaging in the conversations.
The NEA board of directors will be proposing a policy statement at its Representative Assembly in July that includes the potential for valid, reliable, high-quality standardized tests to be included in a comprehensive evaluation model. I believe that this is overdue. We cannot ignore achievement in evaluating the effectiveness of teachers, principals, teaching and learning departments and the superintendent. Yes, there are many other factors that influence achievement, but the bottom line is that we are responsible for ALL students achieving at high levels.
The following piece from the article reinforces our belief in the need for teacher leadership and support as we implement Classroom 10.
The policy statement also outlines features of such a system’s implementation. The evaluation system should provide lots of nonevaluative feedback to help teachers improve their craft, as well as a final rating, it states. And observations must be conducted by trained objective evaluators, including, potentially, mentor-teachers or peers.
It calls on such systems to be fully funded and supported, noting that “our schools currently do not have enough staff trained to provide meaningful evaluative and nonevaluative feedback to teachers.”
I would argue that the system MUST, not should provide lots of feedback. I agree that there are not enough administrators in any school to do this and that we must develop capacity within the teacher ranks if we are to be successful in supporting growth for all teachers, the necessary outcome of any comprehensive evaluation model. We are in the process of this work through our teacher leadership institute and are collaborating with teacher leaders on what this work needs to be and the support that teacher leaders will need to be successful in supporting their colleagues.
I will be following this conversation as it unfolds in July. I wonder how the TEA delegates to the national assembly will be voting.