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ERIC Number: EJ987595
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6855
Taking Teacher Quality Seriously: A Collaborative Approach to Teacher Evaluation
Karp, Stan
Rethinking Schools, v26 n4 p46-50 Sum 2012
If narrow, test-based evaluation of teachers is unfair, unreliable, and has negative effects on kids, classrooms, and curricula, what's a better approach? By demonizing teachers and unions, and sharply polarizing the education debate, the corporate reform movement has actually undermined serious efforts to improve teacher quality and evaluation. Corporate reform has detached these issues from the conditions that make improving teacher quality possible. Class sizes are growing and professional development budgets are shrinking. Federal and state plans are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into data systems and tests designed to replace collaborative professional culture and experienced instructional leadership with a kind of "psychometric astrology." These data-driven formulas lack both statistical credibility and a basic understanding of the human motivations and relationships that make good schooling possible. But better alternatives do exist. Beneath the polarizing, political rhetoric of current "reform" efforts, there is a considerable common ground among educators, parents, and administrators on the need for: (1) Better support and evaluation before new teachers get tenure (or leave the profession, as nearly 50 percent do within five years); (2) Reasonable, timely procedures for resolving tenure hearings when they are initiated; and (3) A credible intervention process to remediate and, if necessary, remove ineffective teachers, tenured or nontenured. Good models for each of these ideas exist, many with strong teachers' union support. This article discusses one promising example--the Montgomery County, Maryland, Professional Growth System (PGS), which has taken a collaborative approach to improving teacher quality for more than a decade.
Rethinking Schools, Ltd. 1001 East Keefe Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53212. Tel: 414-964-9646; Fax: 414-964-7220; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland