“To keep America competitive, and to make the American dream of equal education opportunity a reality, we need to recruit, prepare, learn from, and honor a new generation of talented teachers,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
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Chalkboard wants to support new teachers to be well prepared for the rigors and complexity of teaching. Research and best practices find that high quality teacher preparation is a key factor in recruiting and retaining effective teachers and raising student achievement. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey, and for your valuable insight.
As a former teacher, principal and assistant superintendent, I know very well that educators can tend to have their own language that makes non-educators’ eyes glaze over. Differentiated instruction, common core, instructional rounds, etc. could all describe a range of activities that have nothing to do with teaching or learning.
Translating the education-ease for a public audience can be a tricky endeavor. We want the public to understand the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the strategy or intervention, but we don’t want to oversimplify the work. Unfortunately, the term ‘educator evaluation’ suffers from an oversimplification. Whether or not the oversimplification is justified in many cases, it is important that we begin to redefine the term.
The term ‘evaluation’ often brings up images of an inspection or other high-pressure situations in which there is a black and white decision made: yes or no, thumbs up or thumbs down, raise or no raise, continuation of employment or lay-off. When the evaluation is put in the context of teaching, the assumption is made that teachers are being graded as good or bad. Evaluation can and should be something a lot more than a grade or ranking.
How can we support teacher and principals to do their best work? This is a frequently asked question and creates a robust conversation among students, staff, parents, community and business representatives etc. One strong asset for supporting educator effectiveness statewide and across all districts is to identify performance standards of effective teaching and principal leadership.
On December 1, 2011 the Oregon State Board of Education took action by unanimously adopting core professional standards for teachers and principals. This is a “hallmark” action for Oregon to more strongly support effective educators in every Oregon classroom and school.
This action is the “heart” of SB 290 and will require that all Oregon districts align their teacher and principal evaluation systems with the newly adopted standards by 2013. In addition, Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) will use these newly adopted standards for teacher and administrative licensure to better align a system for educator effectiveness. The standards and administrative rules are available on Oregon Department of Education’s (ODE) website for your information. (more…)