A Network Connecting School Leaders From Around The Globe
By Dr. Sandra K Darling and Dr. Timothy R. Vansickle
As never before, teacher preparedness and teacher evaluation are being closely aligned to student achievement. With the release of NCLB Waivers by the Executive Branch, through the U.S. Department of Education teachers must be evaluated using student test scores. The waiver removes the requirement that all students must be proficient in reading and mathematics in the spring of 2014 as required under the law (NCLB, 2001).
"Teachers and administrators have spent a great deal of time in refining the teacher evaluation process, including what data is collected, how it is disseminated, stored, and accessed."
At least part of every teacher’s evaluation is to be based on student scores on the summative tests given, typically at the end of each school year. There are a host of issues that surround the use of test scores for teacher evaluation such as: not all subjects or content areas are tested; in some cases the content being tested may be taught in more than one class by more than one teacher; or the content is taught by a subject matter teacher not associated with the tested content (e.g., math taught and learned in the science class). In the space allotted we cannot cover all the possible issues and challenges, instead we propose that other factors, directly under the control of the teacher and that are measurable may be a better avenue to assessing teacher effectiveness. These include: (1) a deep understanding of the content knowledge of the Common Core Standards – the expectations for student learning, (2) effective instruction that is aligned to the Common Core Standards – content pedagogy, and (3) the professional teaching standards that apply to all content and instruction, commonly referred to as the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium Standards (InTASC, Council of Chief State School Officers, April 2011).
Why Teacher Effectiveness?
The primary goal of any educational endeavor is to impact the learning of the student. In other words, good and effective teachers should improve student learning. There is no more powerful factor in student achievement than having an “effective teacher” in every classroom. The question arises: what does a good and effective teacher look like?