Under the new system, each teacher and principal will receive an annual professional performance review (APPR)which will be rated as “highly effective,” “effective,” “developing,” or “ineffective.” (New York State Board of Regents). The educators whom fall under “developing” or “ineffective” will then be placed in a teacher or principal improvement plan. The evaluations were put in place with the hopes of determining employment decisions. The information will also be used to modify professional development and support for educators to develop and improve their instructional practices, with the fundamental goal of ensuring that there is an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader in every school.
While the teacher evaluation programs may have been put into place with good intentions of effectively evaluating teachers on a professional basis, many educators feel that the new teacher evaluation programs not only lack a sound research basis, but in some instances, have already proven to be harmful. (CReATE Open Letter on CPS Teacher Evaluation (2012)). Educators find that these tests to do not accurately portray teacher abilities; teachers who have been working at a school for more than 20 years and who have formed bond...
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...dly enough, students on the opposite end of the learning spectrum, who score highest on state tests, also are expected to show little “growth,” thus, also putting their teacher at a disadvantage (FairTest 2013).
In conclusion, it can be said that standardized tests have many limitations and provide an incomplete representation of student knowledge and intellectual capability, relying largely on multiple- choice items that do not evaluate students’ critical thinking skills. Therefore, legislatures should not mandate a test-based method to teacher evaluation that is unproven and is probably going to hurt both the teachers being evaluated, and the children they teach. The fair and adequate way to evaluate teachers is by using more informative measures such as observations by principals or other skilled educators, lesson plans, and reviews of students’ classroom work.
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