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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Dear Arne: About those teacher evaluations ...



It's a given: most teacher evaluation systems are lame. Change is overdue. But shouldn't we see what works and what doesn't with pilot projects (i.e., Hillsborough) before going whole hog (i.e., Florida)? So goes the argument in this combination letter/policy memo that a New York principal and University of Colorado professor Kevin Welner (who directs the National Education Policy Center) recently sent U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan (at Duncan's invitation). They wrote:

There is no question that educator evaluation systems based in large part on student test scores are unchartered waters. Yet the statewide systems are not pilots; they are full-blown mandates imposed on all public schools. What we are engaging in is a national experiment that is costly in public dollars attached to high-stakes consequences for educators and students alike ...

Just as no pharmaceutical would be brought to market without first being tested for effectiveness and for adverse reactions, neither should a practice with the potential to profoundly impact the lives of the nation’s students and their teachers.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 6:14pm]


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