Evaluations Present Philosophical and Logistical Challenges


In more than a dozen states, new teacher evaluation requirements are presenting philosophical and logistical challenges, reports the New York Times in last week’s most-clicked ASCD SmartBrief story.

For example, in Nashville, teachers are redesigning lessons to square with evaluation criteria regardless of whether it is the best way to teach. Principals, in turn, are taking on huge amounts of administrative work to annually evaluate each teacher four to six times, on an up to 116-point rubric.

Some say these growing pains are part of an overall improvement process that will take time, while others describe new teacher evaluation mandates as a race to “unwavering commitment to unproven practices.”

What’s your impression of teacher evaluation practices in your state?


  1. The best evaluative process is to use the walkthrough method in which an administrator develops a narrative throughout the year. That narrative would include reflective and ongoing pedogogical conversations between the teacher and administrator. Higher track teachers would include walkthrough data they have received and given to other teachers (clearly less evaluative, but teachers do a great job of taking the best of what they see from others). Assesment data should also be included as a part of the discussion…although not perfect, it must be included to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of teachers to identify areas for improvement. I do not favor published data, but do want teachers to see who the experts are on staff so that they can use each other for professional growth.


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