I think its time for a real conversation on teacher performance from a local view.
The state and federal government has jointed together and set some common core standards and student achievement goals. So let’s accept that.
Each school district and charter school are unique and have their respective school boards or board of directors. Certainly all school districts should have the capacity to provide proper oversight. All school districts and charter schools have their internal teacher and curriculum support structure. What has been transpiring these last few years is greater involvement by the Delaware Department of Education and the United States Department of Education in classroom management and overall micromanagement of the local education delivery service. No matter how we cut it, acceptable student achievement is the goal and yes we need uniform student achievement goals.
Teacher evaluations should be completed on a local school district and charter school level by the district and charter school administration. The Delaware Department of education and the United States Department of Education should have no say in the means and method districts and charter schools use to evaluate “their” teachers. At the end of the day, student achievement will be the tell all how effective teachers, districts and charter schools are. What I am saying, rate the districts and the charter schools not the teachers. Let the performance base objectives be on the district and charter schools as a whole. YES ! Withhold certain supplement state and federal funds such as Title 1 and yes keep in place the school turnaround provisions for schools and districts who fail to meet student achievement standards. In another words, set the achievement objectives and penalties ( if you want to call them that) and get the F out of the way (DEDOE & USDOE). As far as teacher ratings; ineffective, effective and highly effective, let the local school districts and charter schools hammer that out with their local teacher organizations. The money pissed away on this state and federal grand scheme to evaluate teachers could be better served in helping new teachers with better support networks. I believe in every school there are good teacher mentors and they are the best developmental coaches. I believe every new teacher needs a mentor for the first three years. Many think those who want to be teachers do so to secure a secured job in state government. I’ve see them as young people who dream they can make a difference in education but enter a professional field full of ridicule and quickly become discourages.
I think for the most part local educators are getting it, our economy is shifting from a local manufacturing base to a global economy where in the past a high school diploma could secure livable wages to a needed technical or college related career. Sadly to say, the professionals (teachers) who are the ones responsible for shaping a more professional workforce are being demoralized by the state and federal government who have become puppets of the American business roundtables.