Teacher Ratings Unrealistic, State Education Secretary Says

By Weigand, Jodi | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 9, 2011 | Go to article overview

Teacher Ratings Unrealistic, State Education Secretary Says


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


Pennsylvania's education secretary on Wednesday called for changes in a system of rating public school teachers and principals, saying results showing that 99 percent are "satisfactory" suggest they do not sufficiently reflect what goes on inside classrooms.

Secretary Ron Tomalis said the existing system makes it very difficult to rank an educator as unsatisfactory. The scores were reported by the state's 747 "local education agencies," which are school districts, intermediate units, career and technical centers, and charter schools.

"Each year, Pennsylvania taxpayers invest $700 million in educator professional development," Tomalis said. "Students, parents and taxpayers deserve more accountability from those teaching in and operating our public schools, especially when the focus is preparing our children for the future."

Many districts evaluate their teachers in the way Tomalis is suggesting, said Linda Hippert, executive director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, which provides instructional support for suburban districts.

"I see where the secretary can draw this conclusion," said Hippert, a former superintendent, "but at least in some districts, the evaluation system ... includes much more detail."

Teachers receive more feedback on their performance even if it doesn't affect their job status or salary.

Mt. Lebanon School District, for example, uses a state-approved system that breaks the satisfactory rating down into three levels, from lowest to highest: basic, proficient and satisfactory. Other districts, charter schools and intermediate units also evaluate teachers in more detail but fill out the state's shorter standard form when reporting results, Hippert said.

"We use a system that (rates teachers as) outstanding, excellent and needs improvement, which would all fall under satisfactory," Hippert said of the AIU's teachers and those in the Duquesne School District, which it manages. "So when we report the data to the state it looks like most of the teachers are satisfactory even if they might be on an improvement plan."

The president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, said the people who do the ratings -- usually school principals -- need more time and skills to perform more accurate evaluations.

He noted that many teachers facing unsatisfactory evaluations resign rather than go through dismissal procedures, which is one reason the positive rankings are so pervasive. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Teacher Ratings Unrealistic, State Education Secretary Says
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.