June 27, 2012

PSEA President points to improvements in teacher evaluation bill

In a June 27 statement, PSEA President Mike Crossey pointed to significant improvements in a teacher evaluation proposal poised to be considered by the General Assembly.

Crossey thanked legislative leaders for their willingness to include a structure for common-sense, well-rounded, multiple measures of student achievement in a teacher evaluation reform plan that will help guide educators in the classroom.

“Educators are not afraid of having our performance evaluated,” Crossey said. “We just want to be certain that our evaluations are based on the wide variety of factors that go into teaching our students. This proposal achieves most of those goals.”

Crossey pointed out that the proposal:

  • Bases evaluations on multiple measures, including 16 specific indicators, such as classroom activities, tests, quizzes, projects, and standardized test scores.
  • Ensures that a variety of standardized test scores are used in evaluations.
  • Ensures that observations of an educator’s performance in the classroom count for 50 percent of the educator’s evaluation.

A year ago, PSEA called for reinventing teacher and principal evaluations as part of its Solutions That Work proposal. PSEA supports a system in which all teachers are regularly evaluated by highly trained evaluators on the basis of clear standards of professional practice with links to professional development.

“From day one, we have made it very clear that good evaluations are based on multiple measures,” Crossey said. “Standardized tests should not be the only measure or the largest measure that judges the performance of a teacher or a student. This proposal provides a framework that bases evaluations on the multiple measures that teachers use to evaluate their students’ performance.”

Crossey pointed out that the proposal will ensure that the results of a pilot program inform the final design of a new evaluation system. A pilot program is currently operating in more than 100 Pennsylvania school districts.

“The legislation being considered by the House is not perfect, so we will continue to make recommendations as the details are worked out in the regulatory process,” Crossey said. “We’re looking forward to continuing to work as partners on this and will make sure that the final product works for the public schools, educators, and the students we teach.”

“We were pleased to join with legislative leaders and work together to shape this proposal,” Crossey said. “It shows that we can craft good public policy when we work together and do what is right for the students in our classrooms and the educators who commit to be the best professionals they can be.”




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