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States Concerned as Mostly Exemplary Teacher Evaluations Indicate ‘Too Much Uniformity’

States Concerned as Mostly Exemplary Teacher Evaluations Indicate ‘Too Much Uniformity’

98.4 percent of Connecticut’s 38,913 teachers received one of two top ratings in the 2013-14 school year, says the Hartford Courant.

But the stellar ratings aren’t causing officials to rejoice as some might expect.

Joseph Cirasuolo, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents told the Courant "he was concerned about the ratings having 'too much of a uniformity' rather than spread out across all four categories.”

Though Mark Waxenberg, executive director of the state's largest teachers' union, the Connecticut Education Association, told the Courant he believes most of CT teachers do good work, he said inconsistencies in the ratings render the evaluation data useless.

"'The definition of exemplary may change from district to district...We have a system of teacher evaluation that is out of whack and needs to re-evaluated,’” he said to the Courant.

Similar problems plagued South Florida this week as public teacher-evaluation data revealed out of 54,000 teachers, only 18 were rated unsatisfactory.

"Statewide, 37.5 percent of teachers in 2014-15 received the highest marks while less than 1 percent received the lowest. That's slightly lower than the previous year, when 42 percent received the top score,” the SunSentinel said.

One county board member, Mike Murgio, told the SunSentinel that the data highlight a “terrible evaluation system that was forced on the districts without the proper time to implement it.”

According to educational consultant Charlotte Danielson, teacher evaluations are a critical component in producing growth for teachers when developed and implemented effectively.

“...there needs to be an effort to create a culture in the school around continued learning and professional inquiry. You’re not done learning when you start teaching. Teaching is enormously complex work that people work to master over their entire careers. No one should act like it’s easy because it’s not,” Danielson said on the U.S. Department of Education website.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/3/2016

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