Magazine article Technology & Learning

Grading Teachers Gets Smarter

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Grading Teachers Gets Smarter

Article excerpt

Fewer topies inflame a conversation about the state of education than that of analyzing teacher job performance. Politics aside, the debate on how best to do it is still a tit icky wicket. Some popular recent methods have moved to value-added evaluations, including statislica I models that use summative, mandated testing data to track teacher performance. Others use student achievement to measure educator job performance. However, research on these kinds of evaluation systems shows little effect on teacher performance and student learning.

What we do know is that emerging technologies have brought improved options to the traditional canned lesson evaluations. One current trend gaining some traction is the use of blogs. such as Edublog, Blogger, and Teacher Blog. Teachers set goals by using the blog with their evaluator to reflect and discuss practice, implement training, and alter instructional strategies. The blogs help teachers and their supervisors facilitate more meaningful conversations.

My Learning Plan and Cornerstone are good examples of Web-based educator evaluation and professional learning data management solutions for the observation and evaluation process. Both programs have features that enable teachers to set and then reflect on their goals. A built-in evaluation form provides an effective model template to help guide evaluators.

Peer-to-peer observations using tools like iObservation are gaining some traction in districts looking for a tech-based evaluation device that directly ties to state teaching standards. …

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