Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Panel Seeks New Teacher Evaluations More Individualizing, Better Methods Urged
The Valley Park School Board has given the go-ahead to a committee to look into new ways to evaluate teachers. Critics have argued that the present evaluation program is not individualized enough.
Two years ago, the board established a committee to look at the evaluation procedures after Valley Park High School Principal Mike Cowan and Valley Park Elementary School Principal Peggy Grigg suggested the methods could be improved.
The committee and a consultant, Earl Hobbs, professor of education administration at St. Louis University, reviewed evaluation procedures and a few months ago made recommendations to the board.
Cowan told the board recently that although the evaluation program was adequate and in line with standards set by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, he believed the district could go "beyond the minimum expectation. Our intent is not to change the program but to improve it. We want to take what we have and make it better."
He said the first step would be to establish evaluations that would address the needs of elementary-, middle- and high-school teachers. There is a standard form used to evaluate teachers from kindergarten through high school whether they have one year of teaching experience or 30, Cowan said. …