Posts tagged "charlotte danielson"
February 6, 2012
Training sessions about a classroom observation model opened up dialogue between teachers and principals this month, even after becoming a flashpoint in the city and teachers union’s ongoing conflict over a new evaluation system.
The city and union planned to host trainings on the teaching model the city hopes to adopt for its new evaluation system together. But after Mayor Bloomberg ratcheted up rhetoric against the union in the State of the City address, the union cut city officials out of the planning. The sessions began two weeks ago, drawing hundreds of attendees even after the Department of Education emailed principals informing them that the sessions were off.
I spent an afternoon last week at a training session at the United Federation of Teachers’ Bronx headquarters, where well over 100 union chapter leaders and their principals were receiving a crash-course on the Danielson Framework, a classroom observation model that serves as one component of the city’s proposed evaluation system. The city has encouraged principals to practice using the Danielson Framework when conducting informal classroom observations this school year, and 140 schools have been piloting the observation model more formally.
As an impasse over new teacher evaluations has deepened between the city and the UFT, a tension has emerged about whether the model is meant first to help teachers improve — the union’s position — or whether it is a tool to help principals usher weak teachers out of the system, as the city’s rhetoric has sometimes suggested.
Catalina Fortino, the UFT’s vice president of education, said the purpose of the training sessions is to foster “a shared understanding” of the model for teachers and principals — an understanding that the city’s pilot of the Danielson framework had failed to develop, she said. (more…)
November 7, 2011
Before union leaders blasted off an angry letter to the Department of Education to complain about teacher evaluation abuse last month, they had to confirm that their complaints were warranted. To do that, they went straight to the woman who designed the evaluation model the city favors: Charlotte Danielson.
Danielson’s “Framework for Teaching” has been adopted for evaluation purposes at 33 struggling schools. But the union was receiving reports from chapter leaders that principals in at least one other network of schools were using a checklist based on the model to evaluate teachers.
When the UFT obtained a copy of one of the checklists, it shared it with Danielson herself to get her thoughts.
Danielson was troubled by the checklists and disapproved of them, union officials said. With that endorsement, UFT Secretary Michael Mendel wrote a letter to the DOE and demanded an immediate end to the practice. He even threatened to cut off negotiations toward a larger evaluation deal that is required by the end of the school year.
In a follow-up phone interview last week, I asked Danielson about the checklists in question while she was out on the road pitching her framework to teachers and administrators in Oregon and Washington. (This week, Danielson is in Chile, where schools are using a model based on her framework.) (more…)
September 7, 2011
Teachers at Manhattan’s P.S. 40 played students this morning, engaging in role plays, “turn-and-talks,” and “sharebacks” to learn about the new way they will be evaluated this year.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott joined the teachers for a training session about Charlotte Danielson‘s “Framework for Teaching,” the teacher evaluation model that principals are supposed to start using this year.
Without an agreement between the city and teachers union on new teacher evaluation rules, teachers will still be judged as “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” at the end of the year. But the city has instructed principals to follow Danielson’s framework — which divides teachers into four categories, from “highly effective” down to “ineffective” — when they conduct observations throughout the year, in conjunction with the rollout of new “common core” curriculum standards.
“We’ve worked out some pieces with the UFT around the evaluation, but right now, my goal is to make sure we’re having the training take place around the Common Core,” Walcott said.
A group of five P.S. 40 teachers acted out a scripted classroom scene, with one “teacher” pushing her “students” to think critically about a nonfiction reading on Polynesian settlement in Hawaii. Walcott and the rest of the staff watched on and consulted yellow photocopied evaluation rubrics to see if the “teacher” should be judged highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective. (more…)
July 15, 2011
Today’s partial teacher evaluation deal shows that the city and teachers union can reach an understanding on one of the thorniest issues they face right now. That’s good, because they have more negotiating to do.
Today’s agreement applies only to the 33 schools that are set to receive federal funding to help them improve, not to the nearly 1,500 other schools operated by the city Department of Education. The city and union haven’t even started discussing how evaluations should be done in those schools, according to UFT President Michael Mulgrew.
Federal authorities didn’t require any teacher evaluation commitments, but the State Education Department told the city in May it wouldn’t forward the city’s application for improvement funds without a teacher evaluation plan. At the time, city officials accused the state of trying to “change the ground rules” by using the $65 million in federal funds as a carrot to get them talking about evaluations. But ultimately the worry of missing out on the windfall in a tight budget year propelled the city and union to follow the state’s instructions.
In the course of hammering out a limited agreement, the city and union established that teachers have the right to a meeting with their principal to discuss the observations. That had been a sticking point in negotiations this spring.
“We have all come to an understanding that it is important to have a verbal discussion, especially if it will help them help children,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said. (more…)
June 15, 2011
A couple of weekends ago, with temperatures climbing toward 90 degrees, 1,400 school administrators stuffed into a non-air conditioned high school auditorium and listened to education officials talk policy.
“Energetic” isn’t the first thing that springs to mind from that scene, but that’s just how Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and other attending principals characterized it yesterday.
So what exactly went on inside Brooklyn Technical High School during the June 4 conference for principals?
Besides a virtuoso performance by an all-freshman string quartet to welcome the audience, much of the excitement surrounded a presentation by David Coleman, a charismatic and self-effacing speaker who helped write the new academic standards being rolled out by the Department of Education. (more…)
December 10, 2010
City officials are planning to unveil a new evaluation system for un-tenured teachers and have enlisted the help of a prominent educator.
The Danielson Group — run by Charlotte Danielson, the creator of a widely-used taxonomy of teaching called the Framework for Teaching — is consulting with the Department of Education to create measures of good teaching tailored for the city.
Sources said the new evaluation system will be used for probationary teachers — those who typically have fewer than three years experience — and will guide principals in making tenure decisions. The new evaluation system has yet to be unveiled to teachers and principals, but DOE officials have shown it to network leaders, who will be charged with training principals in its use.
Meant to be in place by the time tenure decisions are made this spring, the new framework is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s push to make tenure more difficult to attain. In a speech delivered on NBC in September, the mayor said that tenure should not be a “formality” for teachers and vowed that this year, principals would use a new evaluation system. (more…)