I read an article recently whose title summed up the challenge of assessing teachers’ effectiveness: Ohio: Give up on teacher “evaluations” and focus on teacher feedback instead. The article explains Ohio’s evaluation system, which is based on a combination of classroom observation and student growth measures, and which the writer says has clearly not achieved its goals.
The quotation marks around “evaluations” speak volumes. They say that, yes, the state has a system in place that is designed to evaluate teachers—but it’s not a system that promotes teacher growth in the way that thoughtfully planned and executed feedback does. And this is not a challenge only Ohio is facing. This sentiment is one we hear in schools across the country.
Outsiders might assume that teachers are resisting teacher evaluation systems because they don’t want to be judged on how they’re doing in the classroom. In fact, as Insight ADVANCE CEO Dr. Michael Moody shares in the video above, survey data from ASCD SmartBrief shows that teachers very much do want to be evaluated. It’s just that they want these evaluations to be fair and, more than anything, to include feedback that supports the growth of their practice rather than just allowing the district to tick off a box labeled “evaluation.”
Dr. Moody also talks about another false assumption: In the SmartBrief survey, when school leaders were asked if their teachers were ready to use video for observation and evaluation, most of them said no. But how did teachers answer the same question? Just click on the video to find out.