Essay: Teacher Eval Although Student Evaluations

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Teacher Eval

Although student evaluations receive more coverage in the popular press, the evaluation of teachers is equally as important from an administrative standpoint. There are several different methods of evaluating teachers. The type of method used for teacher evaluation sometimes corresponds to the state objectives for specific school systems, and may even be tailor made for specific schools. Teacher evaluations are usually formative, summative, and systematic (Maslow & Kelley, 2012). The more comprehensive and multidimensional the evaluation system, the more robust and meaningful the results will be.

In the State of New Jersey, new teacher evaluation systems have recently been established with the goal of improving quality of education. AchieveNJ is the name of the new program designed to be implemented in the 2013-2014 school year. The AchieveNJ system is rooted in the New Jersey Educator Effectiveness Task Force Report, released in 2011, which outlined specific steps for improving the teacher evaluation system (State of New Jersey Department of Education, 2013). A pilot project recruited as many as 15,000 teachers and principals for participation from 30 districts across the state (State of New Jersey Department of Education, 2013b). Following the pilot project, the State of New Jersey passed a new law in 2012: the TEACHNJ Act. The TEACHNJ Act "mandates many requirements for the new statewide educator evaluation system and links tenure decisions to evaluation ratings," (State of New Jersey Department of Education, 2013). All districts are expected to implement the AchieveNJ evaluation methods next school year. Some districts of New Jersey already have strong teacher evaluation systems in place, and programs like Race to the Top and the ESEA Waiver program have helped improve evaluation systems (State of New Jersey Department of Education, 2013). Prior to AchieveNJ, my district did not have an evaluation system in place, which is why the program is especially meaningful for me.

Teachers will be evaluated along multiple dimensions, providing as robust and accurate a portrait of each educator's performance in his or her respective district. Student achievement is one of the most important dimensions of feedback, and is measured according to quantitative instruments. The quantitative instruments to be used in accordance with AchieveNJ include Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs), and Student Growth Objectives (SGOs). The SGPs are designed to measure achievement gains in language arts literacy and mathematics, which are two subjects deemed to be "tested," and therefore measurable ("AchieveNJ Teacher Evaluation and Support in 2013-2014," 2013). The goal of the SGP is to measure student improvement related to peers, and this measure accounts for 30% of the teacher's evaluation. However, not all teachers are eligible for the SGP measure, because the teacher must have 20 separate students with scores ("AchieveNJ Teacher Evaluation and Support in 2013-2014," 2013). The SGOs are related to the SGPs. SGOs are goals that the teachers establish with their principals and students. The SGO scores account for 15% of a teacher's total evaluation. Therefore, student achievement measures total account for nearly half of the evaluation criteria.

In addition to student achievement measures, teacher practice measures also account for substantive evaluation. Both tenured and non-tenured teachers are evaluated according to teacher practice. Teacher practice is measured primarily via observation of the classroom and methods of instruction. The State of New Jersey Department of Education mandates that multiple observers be present in the classrooms of non-tenured teachers, whereas multiple observers are recommended by the State of New Jersey Department of Education for tenured teachers. Multiple observers are in place to ensure accuracy of results and to prevent bias ("AchieveNJ Teacher Evaluation and Support in 2013-2014," 2013). Furthermore, the observers are fully trained and receive refresher training courses on a regular basis. Finally, a summative rating is provided on a five-point scale from Ineffective to Highly Effective. Summative rating methods are rooted in evidence-based practice. As Maslow & Kelley (2012) point out, formative feedback can strengthen organizational culture and improve the teacher experience. The methods used by the State of New Jersey Department of Education are not as rigid as the ones evaluated by Schafer, et al. (2012), which is why they will undoubtedly become more useful analytical tools.

School administrators and principals also need to be evaluated to ensure optimal school performance. Lindahl (2001) describes the most effective and appropriate methods by which school administrators should be evaluated: by themselves, their peers, and stakeholders. Those methods include self-evaluation as well as external or objective evaluations. The evaluation process should be as diverse and multifaceted as possible, allowing for… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Teacher Eval Although Student Evaluations.  (2013, November 12).  Retrieved June 16, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/teacher-eval-although-student-evaluations/7222563

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