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Innovative School Allows Teachers to Dictate Evaluation Process

Innovative School Allows Teachers to Dictate Evaluation Process

In Los Angeles, teachers at the UCLA Community School have created their own system of teacher evaluation as the result of being a pilot school given a "charter-like autonomy to innovate," to much success, according to Chron.com.

The teacher evaluation process has increasingly become a point of debate as many legislators have voted to tie teacher evaluations into student performance on standardized testing. Teachers in New York, for example, have fueled a historic opt-out movement of standardized tests in protest of a move by the state's government to base half of teacher evaluation scores on student test scores.

At the UCLA Community School, teachers have built an evaluation process that relies on three different kinds of data, none of which are assessment scores.

According to the article, the school's evaluation process relies on student surveys, hours of observations from the principal and student principal, and a teacher-created portfolio containing "an assignment they gave students, how they taught this assignment, and samples of the student work produced.

This portfolio was scored by educators trained at UCLA to assess teaching quality on several dimensions, including academic rigor and relevance. Teachers then completed a reflection on the scores they received, what they learned from the data, and how they planned to improve their practice," the article said.

As a result, most teachers in the school felt as if the evaluation measures were fair, helpful and also motivating. Most importantly, it restored teacher trust in the system in general.

"Very few teachers trust that value-added measures — which are based on tests that are far removed from their daily work — can inform their improvement. This is an issue explored by researchers who are probing the unintended consequences of teacher accountability systems tied to value-added measures."

The UCLA Community School could serve as example on how teacher evaluations can be productive and efficient without relying heavily on test score results.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

05/22/2015

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