ERIC Number: EJ962349
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
The "New" Model of Teacher Evaluation: How Would Ms. Frizzle Fare?
Barron, Marni; Dingerson, Leigh
Rethinking Schools, v26 n1 p55-57 Fall 2011
This article discusses IMPACT, District of Columbia's (D.C.) new evaluation system, which was launched in the fall of 2009 by former D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee, and was immediately lauded as a model for the rest of the nation. Much of the media focus on IMPACT has been about its use of test scores--so-called Value Added Measures--to judge teacher effectiveness. But the majority of teachers in D.C. are not subject to the value added components of IMPACT. They teach in grade levels or subject areas that are not tested (yet). For these teachers, 50 percent of their evaluation is dependent on two unannounced 30-minute observations conducted by "master educators" ("MEs"). Three additional observations are conducted by the school's principal. IMPACT established a "Teaching and Learning Framework"--essentially a checklist of nine teaching practice areas that each teacher is expected to demonstrate during the course of their 30-minute surprise evaluation. Within each practice area, there are a set of specific skills that must be demonstrated to qualify for an "effective" grade, and additional skills that must be present for the teacher to be considered "highly effective." In all, to receive a perfect score on their observation, teachers must demonstrate more than 60 strategies and skills over the course of 30 minutes. In this article, the authors explore the impact of IMPACT on creative and dynamic teachers like Ms. Frizzle, the uber-elementary science teacher of the public television series "The Magic School Bus" who is famous for the amazing field trips that she takes her students on. The authors contend that evaluation systems shouldn't be designed with the inflexibility of a mousetrap: "Snap! Gotcha!" and hope that kids will be in classrooms with the many Ms. Frizzles of Washington, D.C.--teachers who don't just talk about the planets, but take their students to them.
Descriptors: Elementary School Science, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Evaluation, Evaluation Methods, Popular Culture, Educational Television, Evaluation Criteria, Methods Research, Merit Rating, Classroom Observation Techniques, Educational Quality, Quality Assurance, Item Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia