Posted on March 8, 2013 | Leave a comment | Edit
I think that it is time people interested in the teacher evaluation issue begin proposing new and better ways, such as portfolios of teacher and student work that show what the teacher has done to teach and what students have done to show their achievement. I do not think it difficult to develop a means for examining, at least at some basic level, the work of a teacher in relation to the kind of things students are able to do as a result of instruction. This, of course, means more work for those who are responsible for evaluations, but time well used to achieve truly meaningful understandings is time well spent and terribly economical. Similar kinds of evaluation of students is absolutely essential if we are going to end the horrible practice of eradicating individuality because we cannot find objective ways to evaluate the quality of individual understanding of the things good teachers in good schools should be helping students to learn.
As for the standards? With teacher developed and evaluators’ informed evaluation of instructional practice, what is wrong with a standard such as this from the English language arts Common Core Standards: “Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text”?
I think it would be a truly interesting exercise of mind to brainstorm ways to understand what needs to be taught in light of such a standard and how to assess whether students have attained the right kind of understanding of things pertinent to the standard. Yes?