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State Board of Education Acts on Teacher Evaluation

State Board of Education members

State Board of Education members today approved flexibility to the state’s educator evaluation and support system.

At its meeting today, the State Board of Education approved new flexibility in the implementation of the state’s educator evaluation and support system as recommended by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC).

In a consensus vote, PEAC last week approved the new flexibility options in response to comments and concerns from educators around the state. The flexibility changes will relieve the significant demands and pressures on teachers and administrators who simultaneously must also implement the Common Core State Standards.

The new flexibility options center on four areas: overreliance on testing, the number of required formal observations, development of Student Learning Objectives, and onerous data collection. See this chart for more on the new flexibility options.

Below is a sampling of comments from State Board of Education members prior to approving the new flexibility options.

  • Joseph J. Vrabely Jr. said, “Everything I’ve heard has to do with how cumbersome the paperwork is.” He added, “As a board member all I hear is, ‘It’s a nightmare.'”
  • Stephen P. Wright said, “We’re expecting so much of teachers, with the introduction of new standards. That’s colliding with the new evaluation system.” He added, “It’s good we’re admitting maybe it was rolled out a little too quickly.”
  • Andrea Comer said, “Regardless of adoption of these flexibility options, if it’s not communicated well, are we setting ourselves up for more problems? I don’t know that there’s anything in here that requires communication to teachers around what this is going to look like.”
  • Allan Taylor, chair, said, “I think these are fine changes. I didn’t understand why we required three formal observations in the first place — I don’t think we even need one. I think the informal observations will be much more useful.  It keeps the conversation going. You read commentary from teachers and they’re complaining about dog and pony shows.”

Local Professional Development and Evaluation Committees can discuss and consider flexibility options, with use beginning this year.

Click here for a recorded presentation to learn more about those options and see sample questions your PDE committee should discuss before making decisions and recommendations for changes.

  1. I echo the last two comments.

    February 6, 2014
  2. Tim Reid #

    After 22 years of successful teaching (good evaluations, at least), I am spending an inordinate amount of time and energy proving that I’m not incompetent. I have students to teach, if nobody minds. I appreciate the gesture but it hardly cuts to the heart of the problem.

    February 6, 2014
  3. It’s more than connecting evaluations to the Smarter Balanced test. Teachers are required to spend so much time gathering data to prove they are teaching, that they don’t have as much time to prepare lessons and teach.

    February 6, 2014

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