Plum testing new teacher evaluation system
Teacher evaluations in Pennsylvania are changing.
The Plum School District is part of a pilot program that during the school year is evaluating about 30 of its 270 teachers under a new system that takes into account not only observation of teachers in the classroom but also student performance.
“This is a big shift,” Assistant Superintendent Guy Rossi told Plum School Board members during last week's education committee meeting.
The new evaluation system replaces the satisfactory and unsatisfactory ratings that teachers had received through observation by principals.
The new categories are: distinguished, proficient, needs improvement and failing, Rossi said.
Rossi said 50 percent of a teacher's rating will be based upon observation, including a teacher's preparation and instruction.
Also, 15 percent of the evaluation will be gleaned from building level data including student test scores, graduation rates, attendance and advanced placement course preparation.
Another 15 percent of the rating will be from teacher-specific data including student progress.
Rossi said 20 percent of the evaluation is elective data determined by local school districts and could include performance on student projects and portfolios.
Plum School Board President Andrew Drake suggested a portion of the evaluation should focus on feedback from parents and students. Rossi said the component could be a part of the elective data.
Carolyn Dumaresq, acting state secretary of education, said in 2011 that teachers should be held accountable for student performance.
“Teacher quality should be based on a proven tool that measures a teacher's impact on student achievement,” Dumaresq said during testimony before the state Department of Education's education committee.
Dumaresq said statewide data from the 2009-10 school year showed that 99.4 percent of all rated teachers received a “satisfactory” rating.
“We believe that these results show the need to have a broad, multi-measure evaluation system to measure performance and effectiveness,” Dumaresq said. “What these results tell us more than anything else is that our current data evaluation system is not up to the task of addressing the needs of today's demands.”
Plum High School Principal Ryan Kociela said during last week's meeting that the new evaluation process includes a couple more steps including conducting a conference with a teacher before an observation and writing a report in addition to the observation and a post conference with a teacher.
“It takes a lot of time,” Kociela said. “It is two additional steps. The (observation) tool is more detailed.”
Rossi said teachers who rate in the “needs improvement” and “failing” categories would be placed on improvement plans.
Rossi expects the evaluation system to go into effect for all teachers when a new teacher contract is approved. The current contract expires on Aug. 31, 2014.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Turnpike rehab project to reconstruct 7 bridges in Plum
- Plum woman and her mother follow dreams to be published
- Plum awards emergency services building contracts
- Plum woman takes helm of national library association
- Plum sets fine for street parking during snow emergency