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ERIC Number: EJ1002844
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1784
A Tale of Two Districts
Simon, Mark
Educational Leadership, v70 n3 p58-63 Nov 2012
These days, everyone seems to be wringing their hands about how to construct new evaluation systems that will make teachers better. This unnecessary angst has led to crazy experiments in reform that have embraced churn for the sake of churn, put school districts at risk, and demoralized many of the most talented teachers. A few school districts, however, have resisted panic, pressures, and fads. Instead, they have invested in models that work. The District of Columbia Public Schools has been at the forefront of a risky, six-year adventure in "bold" reform. The centerpiece of the reform is IMPACT, a teacher evaluation system that has been both lauded and criticized. It's been a rocky ride. The new teacher evaluation approach was implemented in 2009 under mayoral control. The mayor under whose watch it was initiated was defeated in his reelection bid, and schools chancellor Michelle Rhee resigned in 2010. But the reform agenda has continued largely unchanged until this year, although its track record is, at best, mixed. Right next door in Maryland, Montgomery County Public Schools' teacher evaluation model is in its second generation after 12 years. The author taught in the county and then represented teachers when the district administration and the teachers union collaborated in crafting the new teacher evaluation system. Over the years, Montgomery County's system has produced rich evidence of success. Most important, the collaborative relationships established between the administration and the teachers union have enabled the district to continue to refine what works. Far from being an objective observer, the author has been intimately involved in the efforts in both districts, with a close-up view of how these teacher evaluation reforms were developed and how they are perceived by the workforce. He believes that a comparison of their track records shows that one approach is actually better. Such a comparison enables districts to distill a set of principles that are crucial to the success of teacher evaluation systems. (Contains 1 endnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; Maryland