teacher evaluations

teacher evaluations

New Teacher Evaluations in D.C. Resulting in Hundreds of Firings

Efforts to improve student learning have been on the American agenda in recent years. Funding and curriculum are constant staples in the ongoing debate but teacher grading is beginning to take the forefront. Impact, a program inspired by President Obama’s grant program Race to the Top, has implemented a new evaluation system for teachers, which has resulted in the firing of hundreds of teachers in dozens of school districts.

The program relies on a combination of student test scores and in class observations. Teachers are evaluated by their own school principal and also by hired “master educators”. In Washington D.C. about 165 teachers have already been fired under the new system and 200 to 600 will be cut in upcoming months. Costly nearly $7 million per year to run, Washington’s dedication to weeding out ineffective teachers doesn’t come cheap.

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The Top 3 Education Trends of 2010

This a guest post By TeachStreet. Teachstreet is a website that provides online and local classes, including SAT Prep Classes.

2010 was a year of experimentation, change and flux, as educators scrambled to lay a foundation for a 21st century style of learning. Among the top trends in education were:

1. Mobile Devices in the Classroom

This year, Notre Dame set up an experimental classroom where every student was given an iPad. While some critics said that introducing mobile devices would be a distraction to students (as they can play games on the devices), others pointed out that iPads in the classroom may help the teacher make the classroom experience more interactive and engaging. The verdict is still out on whether or not mobile devices are a help or a hindrance, but this trend shows no sign of slowing down.

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Dishonesty on Teacher Evaluations a Serious Issue

According to a study authored by a pair of marketing professors, students are prone to stretching the truth on teacher evaluations.

About a third of the students surveyed admitted to stretching the truth at one point, and 20% said they lied in the comments section. While some did it to make teachers they liked look good, a majority did it to punish those they didn’t like.

As a former adjunct professor, this is an issue that concerns me a lot, so I’d really like to understand what’s going on with this lying. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section and I will respond to them.

First, I’ll address the main issue: Especially for adjuncts and part-time professors, teaching evaluations are the main way we’re evaluated by our superiors. A bunch of bad evaluations means we won’t keep our jobs.

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