Essay on Problems with Teacher Evaluations in Public Schools

Essay on Problems with Teacher Evaluations in Public Schools

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Teacher evaluations have been and continue to be under scrutiny. Major reform efforts are taking place to improve the process. Traditional teacher evaluations are no longer considered satisfactory. Such evaluations typically occur one or two times a year and are administered, in most cases, by the school principal. There are many reasons why traditional teacher evaluations are looked down upon. One of the reasons is because of the fact they are done so infrequently. Very little can be observed regarding the teaching and learning processes (O’Donovan, 2011). This can lead to a very unfair representation of a teacher’s performance since much of what a teacher can do, cannot be observed in one or two observations. It is also questioned whether the judgments of administrators are valid due to both the infrequency and lack of evaluator training (O’Donovan, 2011; Milanowski, 2011). Traditional evaluations, furthermore, have been found to be very ineffective in the way in which they are scored. Most educators receive high marks which makes it very difficult to determine differences in teachers’ abilities (Long, 2011). Once again, this is probably a result of an absence in evaluator training and a common understanding of what effective teaching looks like (O’ Donovan, 2011; Long, 2011). The greatest problem with traditional teacher evaluations is the fact that they do nothing to improve the bottom-line: student and teacher performance (O’Donovan, 2011; Milanowski, 2011).
Formal classroom observations can be effective if they are approached differently than the traditional practices of the past. Most importantly, administrators, other evaluators, and teachers need to have a clear understanding of what competent performance ...

... middle of paper ...

... Delta Kappan, 92
(7). Retrieved from

O’Donovan, E. (2011). Teacher evaluation is not synonymous with teacher quality:
We should focus on coaching and collaboration, not evaluation. District Administration, 47(7). Retrieved from

Sawchuck, S. (2011). Wanted: ways to assess the majority of teachers. Education Week.
Retrieved from

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