Posted by tecwrg on 9/11/2012 1:39:00 PM (view original):
I think you can evaluate teachers by evaluating them against their peers (same grade level) within their school district.
Here in Connecticut, we have standardized tests (Connecticut Mastery Tests, or CMTs) that every child in the state in grades 3 through 8 take every year. Scores are summarized both statewide and district wide. If some teachers consistently have classes whose aggregate CMT scores are averaging below other teachers at the same grade level within the same school, or within the same school district, then that should be a clue about ineffectiveness.
I'm guessing that other states have similar standardized tests that can use this same approach to evaluating teachers.
The key is "consistently". Teachers that consistently have kids performing well (compared to their peers) are obviously doing something right just as teachers who consistently have kids performing badly are most likely bad teachers. It's everybody in between that's hard to evaluate.
Also, at least in CT and NY, there's a lot of discussion about who's responsible for a 3rd grader's test scores....the 3rd grade teacher or the 2nd grade teacher?
And again, the teachers have always been evaluated....and are now being partially evaluated by test scores. The only thing that's being argued is how much of their total evaluation is tied to test scores.