One of the big parts of the education reform going on in NYS is a more robust evaluation of teachers’ performance. Teachers are now required to be evaluated annually on a number of performance indicators. A summary “rating” of the performance indicators results in a teacher receiving a designation on a four-level scale: Highly Effective (the highest score), Effective (the next higher score), Developing, (the second lowest score), or Ineffective (the lowest score). In case you’re interested, last year 7% of the teachers were rated as Highly Effective, 76% were rated as Effective, 11% were rated as Developing, and 6% were rated as Ineffective. (source: http://www.engageny.org/sites/default/files/resource/attachments/2012-13_classification_and_assignment_of_scores_teachers.pdf)
Now here’s what strikes me about this rating system. There is no rating designation as “Excellent.” Think about this a moment. What is the difference between saying someone is an “excellent” teacher as compared with saying that they are a “highly effective” teacher?
Maybe the difference doesn’t mean anything to you, but to me there is a world of difference. To me, an “excellent” teacher is creative, passionate, innovative, a problem-solver, an independent thinker, an inspiration. To me, a “highly effective” teacher gets the job done. I want my children and grandchildren to have the benefit of excellence, not just effectiveness in their teachers.
What about you?
I continue to feel that the bulk of the education reform going on in NY is wrong-headed.