Arne Duncan writes:
More teachers today are treated as true professionals, instead of as interchangeable cogs in an educational assembly line. Exhibit A: Tennessee.
Tennessee — one of the first two states to win a federal Race to the Top grant — recently released an important report on the first year of implementing its new teacher evaluation system. The report found that after one year, Tennessee’s students made their biggest single-year jump in achievement ever recorded in the state. That is a remarkable accomplishment.
…it’s true that there is no perfect system of teacher evaluation, but Tennessee did not let the perfect become the enemy of the good. They insisted on asking the compared-to-what question — how do the strengths and weaknesses of the new system compare to the old system?
35% of eval is test gains
15% is other measures of student achievement “chosen through mutual agreement”
50% is observations, conferences, review of prior evaluations
5,000 evaluators trained, needed to pass inter-rater reliability exam
On a 5 point scale, more than 75% of teachers score 4 or 5. Less than 2.5% score 1 or 2. The report flags as a concern.
The whole 43-page report is worth reading.