"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
Friday, April 12, 2013
The New Republic Provides Wedding Details for Randi Weingarten and Bill Gates
To the 800,000 K12 teachers who are paying dues for AFT union support:
Your union dues are not going to protect you and your students from the corporate onslaught by efficiency zealots, privateers, and proto-fascist ideologues. In fact, your president, Randi Weingarten, has joined forces with the oligarchs to begin the Accountability Testing 3.0 regime that has failed so miserably in the two previous releases.
Six Steps to Effective Teacher Development and EvaluationBY VICKI PHILLIPS AND RANDI WEINGARTENSponsored by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and American Federation of Teachers
Sponsored content by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and American Federation of Teachers.
Some see us as education’s odd couple—one, the president of a democratic teachers’ union; the other, a director at the world’s largest philanthropy. While we don’t agree on everything, we firmly believe that students have a right to effective instruction and that teachers want to do their very best. We believe that one of the most effective ways to strengthen both teaching and learning is to put in place evaluation systems that are not just a stamp of approval or disapproval but a means ofimprovement. We also agree that in too many places, teacher evaluation procedures are broken—unconstructive, superficial, or otherwise inadequate. And so, for the past four years, we have worked together to help states and districts implement effective teacher development and evaluation systems carefully designed to improve teacher practice and, ultimately, student learning.
While many factors outside school affect children’s achievement, research shows that teaching matters more than anything else schools can do. Effective teaching is a complex alchemy—requiring command of subject matter, knowledge of how different children learn, and the ability to maintain order and spark students’ interest. Evaluation procedures must address this complexity--they should not only assess individual teachers but also help them continuously improve.
Yet both of us have become increasingly concerned that states and districts are doing evaluation quickly instead of doing it right, which could have serious adverse effects.
RESPONS-IBILITY FOR IMPROVING TEACHING SHOULDN’T REST WITH TEACHERS ALONE.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) study in 2009 to identify effective teaching using multiple measures of performance. The foundation also invested in a set of partnership sites that are redesigning how they evaluate and support teaching talent.
And the AFT has developed a continuous improvement model for teacher development and evaluation that is being adapted in scores of districts to help recruit, prepare, support, and retain a strong teaching force.
From our research, and the experiences of our state and district partners, we’ve learned what works in implementing high-quality teacher development and evaluation systems:
1. MATCH HIGH EXPECTATIONS WITH HIGH LEVELS OF SUPPORT.
2. INCLUDE EVIDENCE OF TEACHING AND STUDENT LEARNING FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES
3. USE INFORMATION TO PROVIDE CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK TO TEACHERS, AS BEFITS A PROFESSION, NOT TO SHAME THEM.
4. CREATE CONFIDENCE IN THE QUALITY OF TEACHER DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION SYSTEMS AND THE SCHOOL’S ABILITY TO IMPLEMENT THEM RELIABLY.
5. ALIGN TEACHER DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION TO THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS.
6.ADJUST THE SYSTEM OVER TIME BASED ON NEW EVIDENCE, INNOVATIONS, AND FEEDBACK.