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  1. #1
    Senior Member teacher5's Avatar
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    Default Teacher Evaluations Hit NY

    Well, it finally happened. The Governor of NY, Cumo, thinks he has won a great battle and holds the purse strings of NY state schools by tying 40% of testing data from students to teacher evaluation. He doesn't realize the can of worms he has opened. The first time a teacher goes and challenges this ruling, it will be tied up in court for the longest time. First off, he can't over rule a school districts negotiated contract that is in place and spells out how evaluations are to be done. That would have to be renegiotaited. Second, how do you hold a teacher accountable for student performance on a test when a student is absent from school a large percentage of the school year. In NY, most school districts don't even consider retention until a student has been out more than 50% of the school year. Also, what about that student or others that are pulled out of the room for support services like Special Ed. or ESL or even music lessons. If the student is not present in your class to motivate and instruct; how can you be held accoountable?
    One of the main things everyone is failing to see is there must be minimum standards met starting at first grade that every pupil must attain. If they don't, there must be mandatory before or after school or even summer school programs to support that student. Put the money into extra support staff (teachers) who are familiar and knowledgeable about the minimum expectations. If transportation to and from these programs is the obstacle, remove it. Put some money here, too. Then if the parent fails to get their kid to the support program, or the kid is absent more than 10% of the time, they cannot be promoted to the next grade. Stop this NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND-EVERY CHILD PUSHED AHEAD mentality. I am talking minimum standards in math grade 1: Be able to add and subtract for immediate recall to 10 grade 2 Add & subtract to 18, and grade 3 0-9x tables for immediate recall. There should be similiar minimum expectations for ELA, too. Grade 1: Write a sentence or 5 or more words grammatically correct, beginning with a capital letter and ending with a period. Be able to recognize, pronounce correctly, and use in context a set of sight vocabulary words. In Grades 2 & 3 build on this list. If this could be accomplished, at the beginning of every school year teachers would receive students with a level playing field and could build upon
    the knowledge base. Parents would make it their business to be more involved in their child's education, and the new problem would be to challenge pupils with higher level cognitive problem solving strategies. The focus would no longer be on is this a good teacher based on test scores. Let's get a movement to implement this kind of change.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator hweber's Avatar
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    Amen! This is what happens when noneducators try to reform education!

  3. #3
    Senior Member yeongo saem's Avatar
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    It's like having the inmates evaluate the warden. Well not quite, but does this include down to first grade? Kindergarten?

    ESL teachers take note: the lesson before the evaluation do a lesson on adjectives and focus only on positive adjectives. Leave a bunch of them written on the board: helpful, caring, challenging, engaging, useful, diligent... you get the idea. Then when your students are trying to think of things to write on the evaluation all those adjectives will be up on the board for them to choose from.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator hweber's Avatar
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    Sneaky! But very clever yeongo saem!

  5. #5

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    AMEN! TOO! The other thing people fail to address....how do you evaluate teachers that don't teach a "tested" class? Example...in Va...Senior gov't is required for graduation but there is no EOC test...what do u do about that? It's just a can of worms where noonewith a clue is making all the decisions

  6. #6

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    We have the same 40% student evaluation tool being set up in Virginia. We just sat through our first of several meetings on teacher evaluations as well. We have a trial program set up in our county that allows teachers in "hard to staff schools" to earn an extra $3,000 at the end of the year if their students have showed "growth" in their SOL (state tests) scores in grades 3-5. Imagine how peeved the K-2 teachers are! They still have to keep the huge notebooks of data but will receive NONE of the bonuses! It already seems unfair! How many nurses and doctors salaries are tied to how many patients have a "happy ending" and score well under their care? There is not a single sentence that addresses any parent responsibility. I love my job as a teacher and have been doing it for 35 years! I only wish the "powers that be" would just listen to the people in the trenches and let us help work us out of this mess!

  7. #7

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    This will really change the dynamic of schools and the way public education is taught. What ever is evaluated will be heavily focused on. I can't see the creative side of education getting much attention.

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