Teacher Effectiveness Debates: Rattling Sabers or Road to Real Improvement?

Hess-r120x148Who’s rattling that saber? With the release of Waiting for “Superman,” the growth of charter schools, newspapers releasing teacher “value-added” scores, and the efforts of foundations and the federal government to fund many of these efforts, the question at the center of every circle right now is

How do we define teacher and principal effectiveness, and how will we measure that definition?

The acceptance of Common Core standards by over 40 states and the move toward national teacher standards (via InTASC), will also be driving these questions. National standards will lead to national measures, and these measures will lead to effectiveness formulas and debates across the country.

What do you think: will these efforts at school reform improve our schools, or are they just more saber rattling by people who should know better?

What ASCD Annual Conference sessions are you attending to help your district improve its training, hiring, and evaluation? How can we make teacher and principal evaluation a meaningful experience?

Post submitted by Rob Hess, superintendent of Lebanon Community Schools and 2011 ASCD Annual Conference Scholar.