Tim Day of the New Teacher Project is spot on. How can you evaluate teachers when you haven’t properly defined what a good teacher is?
“Everyone around teachers has failed them – the colleges, the administrators and the foundations,” said Tim Day of the New Teacher Project, offering what was likely the second-most provocative comment of my recent conference.
The group believes that teacher quality is key to student success, but districts treat all teachers the same – as interchangeable parts, rather than as professionals.
The problem is that it is difficult for principals to know exactly what happens when classroom doors close, and all the panelists seem to believe that what’s considered the easiest way to measure student growth – test scores – should be only one part of an evaluation.
In my view teachers should be evaluated, but one needs to know what they are looking for in a teacher so they can properly evaluate against it. Similarly, since teachers aren’t the only element in a functioning education system, other areas need to be evaluated. Principals, administrators, schools (ie, school culture) and even those politicians entrusted with funding the schools should undergo evaluations too.
Leaving the teacher alone in the dark is not going to achieve anything. Education is a team effort and currently the team is letting the teachers down.