June 14, 2011

Educator evaluation primarily based on standardized test scores doesn’t measure up

The research speaks for itself - Pennsylvania schools are among the best in the nation - and so are our educators. Educators and education support professionals deliver the power of a great education in PA schools and classrooms every day.

But a new proposal released by the PA Department of Education would make students’ standardized test scores a major part of teacher evaluation.

PSEA strongly opposes this approach to teacher evaluation. Teachers are among the most scrutinized professionals in America. But the system used to evaluate our performance must be clear, measurable, and validated. 

Video: PSEA President Jim Testerman discusses teacher evaluation 
on NBC 10 Philadelphia:

Testerman NBC 10 June2011

A solution that works
PSEA recently launched a blueprint for education reform. Solutions That Work includes an initiative to “reinvent the teacher evaluation system.” Educators do not fear evaluation. We are accountable every day to the students in our charge, and to the communities who trust us to prepare their children for the future.

The challenge we face is that the evaluation system in our schools today is subjective and unstructured. The current system is broken, and we need to fix it. But relying heavily on standardized tests is no solution.

PSEA’s proposal for evaluation focuses on promoting great teaching and learning and ensuring excellence in our classrooms, using multiple measures of student achievement. Standardized tests cannot be the only part, the primary part, or even the largest part of that process. 

In a recent Patriot News article on PDE’s proposal, PSEA President Jim Testerman made the Association’s position clear. "There need to be multiple measures, not just multiple standardized tests. Let's look at student projects and portfolios that really demonstrate what a student knows and can do.”

Testerman added, “If in fact an unfair, unreliable and unvalidated evaluation system is imposed on teachers and it leads to them unfairly being dismissed, you could be guaranteed we're going to court."

A strong educator evaluation system also includes training for evaluators, flexibility to meet students’ diverse needs, links to professional development, and a clear validation process.

That is exactly what PSEA’s Solutions That Work proposes.

Learn more at www.SolutionsThatWorkPA.org.



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