The subject of teacher evaluations has come up on this blog before, in conversations about overall school performance, teacher contracts, and the like. Recently the state rolled out a new evaluation system for teachers that school districts across the Commonwealth, including ours, will be required to adopt.
While school districts that are part of the Race to the Top program will start using the new system this fall, Northborough-Southborough, which is not part of Race to the Top, has another year to incorporate the changes. Doing so will require collective bargaining with the teachers union.
Reports the Metrowest Daily News:
(Superintendent Charles Gobron) said he doesn’t expect the negotiations to result in any sort of pay increase since the evaluation system is state mandated. Rather, the types of things that will likely be negotiated are things like the length of unannounced classroom visits — a requirement that will be new for many districts.
Also new, Gobron said, will be the fact that student learning “outcomes” will have an effect on a teacher’s evaluation.
“Working that out is going to be interesting,” he said, noting his belief that tests like the MCAS are not the final word when it comes to evaluating student growth.
You can read more about the evaluation method on the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website (www.doe.mass.edu/edeval/).
Also this month, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill that gives teacher performance and evaluations – instead of seniority – greater weight in staffing decisions.
What do you think? Are these steps in the right direction? Will they make you feel more confident about the education your children receive? Is there more more work to be done related to teacher performance? Share your thoughts in the comments.