June 2, 2011
In advance of an event tonight about the future of teacher evaluations, an organization of young teachers has outlined how its members would ideally be measured.
The proposal from Educators 4 Excellence signals a departure for the group, which formed last year to lobby against seniority-based layoffs that would put many of its 2,500 members at risk of losing their jobs. E4E enters the teacher evaluation debate as the city and teachers union are locked in negotiations to hammer out evaluation rules. Their standoff could cost the city millions of dollars in funds for low-performing schools.
E4E’s proposal builds off the state’s new teacher evaluation law, which requires districts to evaluate teachers using 20 percent state test scores, 20 percent local assessment results, and 60 percent subjective measures such as observations and surveys. The proposal recommends that administrators, colleagues, and “outside master observers” all assess teachers, using formal rubrics that E4E sketches out, and that results of student surveys and “support of the school community” be factored in to teacher evaluations.
“After many months of research and debate, we recommend this framework because it will give teachers information about their own strengths and weaknesses in the classroom and help them continue to develop,” the proposal reads.
A member of E4E’s policy team — which also includes Ruben Brosbe, who writes for the GothamSchools Community section — will sit on a panel discussion the group is hosting tonight titled, “Beyond Satisfactory: How Should Teachers Be Evaluated?” Also on the panel: Shael Polakow-Suransky, the Department of Education’s top deputy chancellor; a teachers union vice-president, Leo Casey; Angela O’Dowd, a city principal who has said she supports Mayor Bloomberg’s school policies; and a representative of the New Teacher Project, a nonprofit group that manages the NYC Teaching Fellows program.
CLARIFICATION: The headline of this story has been edited to clarify that GothamSchools takes no position on the evaluation proposed by Educators 4 Excellence.