And we wonder why our best and brightest don’t want to pursue a teaching career …
DRIPPING SPRINGS, Tex. — Just as Judy Gardner answered the phone on Wednesday afternoon, a coach stuck his head into her empty classroom.
He wanted to know if she had swept her floor yet, because he had students offering to do it as community service.
Entering the new year, Ms. Gardner’s district can say something that fewer and fewer schools in Texas can — no teachers have been laid off as a result of state budget cuts. But the Dripping Springs Independent School District has eliminated custodial positions, and that has left teachers with new tasks after the bell rings: sweeping classrooms and taking out the trash.
From a recent Washington Examiner article:
Under Impact, teachers and other educators are observed at schools five times each year and scored on a scale of 1 to 4, or “highly effective.” But this school year, the 290 teachers who received “highly effective” ratings for the past two years and who earn an average of 3.5 on their first two evaluations this fall will have the option to waive the three remaining observations.
“This is something we’ve been hearing from teachers and principals since Impact was launched,” said Scott Thompson, director of teacher effectiveness strategy for DCPS. “Everyone thinks it’s reasonable to be evaluated and held to high standards, and if [teachers] consistently demonstrate they are high-performing, it didn’t seem like they needed to be observed quite as many times.”
So … evaluation is purely about accountability? If a teacher is so “effective,” why isn’t s/he seeking feedback to improve already solid practice? And don’t we want to be on the lookout for examples of excellence to highlight for other teachers? Shouldn’t we be really thinking in terms of talent management (i.e. note and learn from highly effective practitioners)?
When everyone involved assumes that observations are only about making sure teachers aren’t “bad” it undermines the whole notion of professional growth …
Rest of the Examiner article here.