Pittsburgh Schools' Evaluation System Gets Gold Stars from Teachers

By Weigand, Jodi | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 19, 2010 | Go to article overview

Pittsburgh Schools' Evaluation System Gets Gold Stars from Teachers


Weigand, Jodi, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Teachers who took part in a test of Pittsburgh Public Schools' new evaluation system like what they experienced.

"I look at it as a way of empowering teachers because it gives them a way to look at their practice and talk about that practice," said Melissa Friez, principal at Allderdice High School, one of 24 district schools that participated in a yearlong pilot for RISE, Research-based Inclusive System of Evaluation.

Teachers and principals at pilot schools will serve as mentors for two other schools when the district implements the system this fall.

It rates teachers as unsatisfactory, basic, proficient or distinguished in each of 12 components that encompass four areas in and out of the classroom: planning and preparation, professional responsibilities, the classroom environment and teaching and learning. Those who need to improve will get help from their principals, teacher-mentors and professionals.

Under the old evaluation system, teachers received a satisfactory or unsatisfactory rating of how they did in the classroom at the end of the year.

"That was a very unsatisfying way to talk with teachers about what they do for a living, what they're passionate about and what they want to grow in," said Jody Spolar, chief of performance management. "It gave virtually no information to teachers that they could use in a constructive way. …

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Pittsburgh Schools' Evaluation System Gets Gold Stars from Teachers
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