Thursday, November 21, 2013

Worcester teacher evaluation data released by school...for what it's worth

[With a bit of editing for clarity]
You can find the Superintendent's press release and the school-by-school data here.You'll note that for schools that had all teachers with the same rating or schools where all but a single teacher had the same rating, the information is redacted.
There's a couple of things that are very weird about this information (beyond the above, which means that entire schools are dropped) and make it less meaningful than it might initially appear.
All teachers are evaluated in four categories: Curriculum, Planning, & Assessment; Teaching All Students; Family and Community Engagement; and Professional Culture. In each of those categories, the teacher has goals, and on those, each teacher is rated exemplary, proficient, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory.*
But--and here's the thing--not every teacher has the same goal. So while Teacher A is working on this particular thing, Teacher B is working on something else, but BOTH under something in Professional Culture (for example). Those are not the same goals. Each teacher has at least two goals, and then has the four categories.
Plus each teacher is actually getting six [correction] marks, not one, and in four categories plus two goals, not one.
Then all of those were put together for each school.
Thus, all of this doesn't really tell you much about the schools or the teachers in the school. It makes for some simplistic "look, lots of teacher are proficient" or "gosh, everyone must have the same mark at that school" level of notice. It doesn't give you much useful information on the teachers in a school, though.
No, for that, you are still going to actually go see the teachers and visit the school.

*(for more on this see here; note that those are state's regs and guidelines. Each district has negotiated this with their own unions, so implementation varies a bit across the state.)

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