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Developing a system

Posted By: Christopher Mullin on August 12, 2004
Guiding design principles:

The variety of what states incorporate into their systems is vast. Most states use Charlotte Danielson's framework from her ASCD book. From there they have adapted other areas. A couple interesting things I have found:

a) Providing for the use of various forms of data to meet evaluation criteria
(i.e.- scripted interviews that question specific topics, content or
personal qualities or student test results)

b) Providing room to support a rating with specific inofrmation underneath the criteria instead of a couple lines at the bottom of a page that allow for general comments.

How are assessments being used?

In terms of implementation, induction programs are very popular and my interest is not so much in them. I am concerned with what happens after a teacher receives tenure. Often assessments are formalities for this population. They are generally not provided formative assessments, but are rather given one "assessment" every 3 to 5 years. Some states, allow for a satisfactory rating in the event the evalation is not given, even your own (Teacher Tenure Act, 1993, 38.83a(2) and 38.93(2) of the Michigan Compiled Laws). THus I would speculate that outside of Induction programs, which are retention programs at heart, evaluation are not being used. There is a whole legal perspective on this issue as well that I will leave out for now.

What are the challenges?

The challenge is getting LEA, union and administrative "buy-in." It has to be a system that is valued from many perspectives. However, accoutnability asks for the evaluations to be punative, whereas they are most beneficial when used in a formative capacity unrelated to job security. Thus the enigma.

I hope these answers help. I am more than happy to assist in the development of a state system. I have other Ideas i do not wish to broadcast but am open to sharing. Feel free to e-mail me at cmm2108@columbia.edu.

Christopher M Mullin
Teachers College Columbia University
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 Teacher performance assessments by amy COLTON on April 22, 2004
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