[Tim Hacker/ Tribune]
Gabriele Fajardo,right, instructs her freshman Cambridge Biology class, Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at Red Mountain high school in Mesa. [Tim Hacker/ Tribune]
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I like the idea of being held more accountable, but how does Mesa measure growth?
What instruments to they use?
It'd be nice to know that.
Well, I'll tell ya...this is the high school scenario:
If you teach a math or English class for which there is a district mandated test, those scores are for you. If you teach AP tests, that's what you get. If there is a standardized test, that what you are measured against. Those teachers are designated category A. The rest of the faculty, about 80% at most high schools, are category B. So their evaluation depends on the A teacher's scores. I am not making this up. They must declare what standardized test they will have included. Really fair, isn't it? There are many more nuances than I can easily explain here, but that's the basic idea. So, if you teach art, music, PE, home ec, shop or whatever, you don't have to worry about it. The math and English teachers will handle the dirty work. For the math and English teachers and others with testing (AP Govt, for example) you have no control over who's in your classes. Mesa doesn't think prerequisites matter, except in electives. So you have kids in Geometry who failed Algebra, they must take the class when they're not ready, they'll likely bomb the final -- and there goes your evaluation.
When this inane idea came about last year, most teachers didn't pay attention, but now they're really upset about the whole thing. To his credit, Mr. Lesar has said they're working to make sure no one gets hammered by this process, I am not opposed to evaluating teachers, but dang it, treat all teachers the same. So I want mandated testing in PE, art, music and driver's ed -- and the same level of rigor and difficulty as math, English and AP courses have. This whole mess is thanks to the Obama administration, and some puny headed administrators who can't think an original thought. Aren't you glad you're retired?
I forgot the most impressive part of this brilliant idea: if you teach a course for which the test comes late in the year (AP, IB, or AIMS) your evaluation won't be completed until the NEXT school year because the test results don't come back until the middle of the summer. This is just laughable. The whole thing is just so stupid.
mesateacher is right -- I know an ROTC teacher who is deciding whether his 33% will be based on the state math or reading scores -- He has absolutely nothing to do with teaching the kids math or reading, yet his evaluation and by extension status with the district will be based on data over which he has no influence. This is what you get when people who have no educational background or expertise are running the state's education system (i.e. John Huppenthal and his anti-public school buddies in the state legislature).
And, what happens when you have novice teachers who are maybe not as effective as veteran teachers holding you hostage with their inexpertise? If you "fail" due to math scores or English scores bombing due to their lack of experience on top of classes of students who are not ready for higher math levels, why would or should you be held accountable?
It doesn't make sense. So glad I am retired. No worries. I am sure your PE Teachers/now administrators will be fair about all of this, if you can explain percentages to them and show them what 33% and 50% looks like.
This is an article from September 17th, by Kerry Fehr-Snyder - Sept. 17, 2012 09:42 AMThe Republic | azcentral.comRead more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/chandler/articles/20120913chandler-schools-teacher-evaluations.html#ixzz27pjnza2b
This article does not say what Chandler is going to use for all grade levels (Chandler teachers???) but at least they are acknowledging that what they planned to use was a "hot mess" and they should precede slowly. Unfortunately, I do not think the waters will be any less muddy next year.
Chandler Unified School District officials are moving slowly with their new teacher-evaluation system now that at least one-third of the rating by law must be tied to student standardized test scores.
The district has instituted a pilot program this school year using the Marzano Teacher Evaluation System that will be fully implemented for the 2013-14 school year.
Linking teacher evaluations to scores is a nationwide trend. This week, 20,000 public-school teachers in the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike for the first time in 25 years because of declining public-school funding and pressure to use standardized-test scores in teacher evaluations.
Evaluating teachers' effectiveness "is long overdue and something Chandler relishes," said Matt Strom, the Chandler district's director of research and accountability.
But the system is flawed, Strom said, because of a lag time in student test scores on AIMS, Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards. Students also are not randomly assigned to teachers, causing some classes to be filled with smart students who score well on standardized tests, according to Strom.Many students also study subjects ahead of the grade level in which they're enrolled. Half of the district's junior-high students, for example, take above-level classes, Strom said. Similarly, the district's traditional academies teach students a year ahead.
"My message to the district and the board is to proceed with great caution," Strom said. "Teaching is a collaborative process. We are all in this together."Teachers are to be labeled highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective. The district has not yet determined how many points out of 600 a teacher must earn to attain each label.
Schools may use results of the Stanford 10 and other standardized tests, but Strom warned against using DIBELS literacy test results as an indicator.Even makers of that test, which measures reading fluency, warned against the results.
"DIBELS itself says don't use us in teacher evaluations," Strom said, reading from developers' statements.The district spent $164,000 for the Marzano system. Board President Barb Mozdzen said instituting the system is more difficult than many realize."It all becomes very, very muddy," she said.
District Superintendent Camille Casteel has told her staff to implement the system slowly."We want it to go gradually," she said.
The Legislature passed a law two years ago requiring that 33 to 50 percent of a teacher's annual evaluation be tied to his or her students' standardized test results.
So will those teachers (math, English, AP) have a pretest to give at the beginning of the year to compare how their kids did on AIMS or AP tests?
And what about the kids who don't take the AP tests? And the upper classmen who have already passed AIMS, what tests will be used to judge their teachers?
Holy moly. I'd like to see a full explanation of just how administrators will handle that portion of the evaluation.
And what is "continuous school improvement"?
And what kind of training have administrators undergone to be better evaluators of their teachers, since 60% of the overall evaluation is based on "teacher performance"?
Mesa's residents need a fuller explanation of this system that will be used to judge their kids' teachers.
The person who described this has a "hot mess" is correct. Not only are teachers being evaluated on students that they do NOT even have, they are being evaluated on a test that is supposedly going away. In addition, the man hours that this system has created for the administrators is outrageous. The district did not relieve the athletic, activities, etc. requirements for the principals and now they added 10+ additional hours on PER teacher. Those teachers that work with the lowest kids are the ones that will be dinged the highest. It's a lose lose situation. I can't imagine that good teachers are going to stick around the district long. I foresee a mass exodus at the end of this year, which is very sad. Several of the high schools have long term substitutes for Math and English currently, because Mesa can't find enough qualified teachers to fill the jobs now. It will only continue to get worse.
As far as I'm concerned the elephant in the room, which no one is willing to discuss, is special education. It has taken decades for general education teachers to become accepting of learners who may needs modifications and or accommodations, who (by definition) learn at a different/slower rate, and now their needs may impede teacher evaluations. I don't know the answer, but I just stated the question!
The "Teacher's Union" minions are whinng......moaning.....groaning........and pulling their.......blue....pink...or gelled hair (...oh, that's right....there is a ...new "Teachers Dress Code" in effect for the 2012 School year in many School Districts....so no more....cleavage, short skirts, tattooes, body piercings, tongue piercings, eyebrow piercings and multiple earrings.....TEACHERS ARE NOW REQUIRED TO "LOOK" LIKE TEACHERS).
I just love the Mesa teacher that said...."...but to be watched, and graded and critiqued...it's very nerve-racking.We're all walking on eggshells"............SISTER WELCOME TO THE "REAL" WORLD OF EMPLOYMENT. THAT'S WHAT THE HARD-WORKING MESA (AND THE REST OF ARIZONA AND AMERICA) HAVE TO LIFE WITH AT THE JOBS THAT THEY WORK AT SO THEY CAN PAY YOUR YEARLY (well, our "EGGSHELL WALKING" teachers only really work about 8 months out of the year = 3 MONTH SUMMER "HIATUS"....11 PAID HOLIDAYS....2-3-4 WEEKS VACATION EVERY YEAR AND..........AND....DON'T FORGET THE 10-DAYS "PAID" SICK DAYS TOO....AND IF YOU DON'T THINK THAT A TEACHER DOESN'T TAKE ........EVERY....SINGLE...SICK DAY....OFF............LOL).
THE 3-R's ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT BUILDING BLOCKS FOR EDUCATION AND ONLY THE BEST AND MOST COMPETENT TEACHERS SHOULD BE TEACHING THOSE SUBJECTS........THE LAST TIME I LOOKED.......THERE WASN'T AN ......"ARIZONA TEACHER'S SELECTIVE SERVICE "DRAFT" THAT ......FORCED.......TEACHERS TO TEACH THESE SUBJECT.............SO............QUIT YOUR CRYING.....YOU.... "APPLIED"...TO TEACH.......ENGLISH...........MATH.......SCIENCE......NO ONE "FORCED" YOU TO SIGN THE EMPLOYMENT PAPERS = NO SUCK IT UP AS WE USED TO SAY IN THE ARMY AND GET OUT THERE AND .............TEACH OUR CHILDREN....DO YOUR JOB FOR A CHANGE.
As far as the Danielson evaluations are concerned, every teacher has been given specific training with every detail of what they are being evaluated on. It's not a secret...This portion of the evaluation is definitely better than what has been in place in previous years. There is no room for an administrator to just give you a "bad" evaluation, because the criteria are very specific and very clear. A teacher also has the opportunity to present evidence(s) of the learning and educational climate in their classroom. There is a very long list of evidence(s) that can be presented. I disagree with teachers being labeled "A" and "B" and having their evaluation tied to AIMS scores,etc. in which they have no control over. In the district training meetings, teachers were told that the testing scores would not be enough to pull you from being an "Effective" teacher to a "Developing" teacher, we shall see...That being said, Mesa will continue to loose excellent teachers because of the bureaucracy and the way they are treated. Mesa does not value its employees, it values the titles associated with their district and their schools. For that matter, the state legislature and the goons that "work" there have gone to great lengths to destroy public education in the state of Arizona. Until things change, highly talented teachers will continue to leave the district and the state.
" Lesar said. “We think we will be able to refine it and improve it as we move forward.”" in other words "It's really not ready for deployment", but the teachers will still be held accountable for the Boards shortcomings and failures.
The morale of Mesa teachers has slipped, incredibly, in the past five years. Mesa prides itself on being "first" [or touting itself to be 'first' as defined by themselves] in all things Education in the state. They like to beat their chests like they're Tarzan-wannabes and "brag". Well, MPS is NOT first, any more, by any stretch. Chandler and Higley are "A" districts, as is Gilbert, I believe. Mesa is not. Mesa will force this new evaluation system down its teachers' throats and give them all kinds of doublespeak about how one cannot go from being an effective teacher to a developing teacher. This is "the Mesa way", and it always has been "the Mesa way" to just pull the wool over everyone's eyes, pat them on the back, and then kick them down the proverbial stairs. Some of the schools which have declined are "lead" [I use that term loosely...] by personal friends of the stupidintendency. Those schools have dropped, as graded by ADE's new A through F system.
I haven't seen any "Oooh Aaaah" articles about any turnaround schools, lately, being "lead" [wink] by gurus who were specifically hired to do so. Have you? Nope. All's quiet on the Western Front [the ghetto side of Mesa].
I really would like to know how novice teachers are going to be held accountable in the same way veteran teachers are going to be held accountable. Mesa has to know [as do other districts] that newbies cannot possibly be as effective as veterans. That's not a cruel statement; it's a fact. It takes a while to become an effective teacher.
I like how Chandler is going into the evaluation process and proceeding more deliberately and cautiously to make sure it will be a fair evaluation system. Mesa, I can say with experience, has some pretty horrible administrators who will use this process to their advantage. Teachers can inherit stacked classes, for one trick that is used, and has been used, to question a teacher's "value".
Without a standardized evaluation system statewide, districts can implement whatever they want to implement to measure "effectiveness". Parity cannot be reached and hold all teachers to the same standard when one instrument is used, and PE teachers, Art teachers, Music teachers, Shop teachers are not able to affect those outcomes. English and Math teachers will continue to bear the burden of proof, and I am sure there will be lawsuits, eventually, citing the unfairness of how everyone is evaluated using an evaluation that is not even basing its evidence on students a teacher doesn't even teach.
If a surgeon is great, it doesn't mean a first year medical student is great, as well. I wouldn't want the first year medical student performing surgery, and then having me, as the experienced surgeon, evaluated based on his or her inability to perform. Using the surgeon and first year medical student example, further, I hope you all know that the educational equivalent of the office receptionist is evaluating both of them, most notably regarding administrators in Mesa, and the surgeon's and the first year student's futures depend on the input of that receptionist, who has no business evaluating either of them.
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