How should New York teachers respond to new evaluations?

In a recent article, Governor Cuomo has established a teacher evolution system for New York Public School. The new initiative is met with opposition from the teachers union along with many teachers because it includes student achievement as a measure of success. The most effective way to ensure the success of teacher evaluations is to have students participate in pre and post testing.

According to the article, under the new law, the length of time it will take to earn tenure will be lengthened from three to four years. To gain tenure, a teacher must rate “effective” (based on classroom observations and test-based measures) for three of those years.

For a probationary teacher, effectiveness should mean having a track record of student achievement gains and classroom observations better than the average draft pick (the typical first-year teacher in a district).

The second step will be to reinvent the classroom observation. Children will not succeed until all teachers — both tenured and untenured — adjust what and how they teach. But that requires adults to change their behavior, and we must not underestimate how difficult that will be.

Although the use of test scores has received all the attention, the most consequential change in the law has been overlooked: One of a teacher’s observers must now be drawn from outside his or her school — someone whose only role is to comment on teaching.

The fact that 96% of teachers were given the two highest ratings last year — being deemed either “effective” or “highly effective” — is a sure sign that principals have not been honest to date. An external perspective will make it easier for longtime colleagues to have a frank conversation about each other’s instruction.

Yet as valuable as they might be, external observations also present significant logistical challenges. A lot of time could be wasted as observers travel from school to school. One alternative would be to allow teachers to submit videos to external observers (and, possibly, to their principals as well).

Doing so would have a number of advantages. For instance, teachers usually struggle because of the clues they are not noticing while they teach. It is difficult for such teachers to recognize their mistakes after the fact by reading an observer’s written notes after class.

Giving teachers control of a camera, the opportunity to watch themselves teach, and allowing them to discuss their work with external observers, peers and supervisors will provide a more effective mirror than any observer’s written notes.

With the benefit of video, harried principals could do their observations during quieter times of the day or week. And when principals do not have sufficient content expertise, they could solicit the views of content experts.

Finally, video evidence would level the playing field if a teacher ever has to defend her teaching at a dismissal hearing.

Classroom observations which are part of teacher evaluations have proven ineffective when attempting to improve student achievement. Classroom evaluations conducted by principals and outside persons have already proven ineffective. Even the usage of video taping can be only productive as a tool for reflective practice.

The bottom line with teacher evaluations is the improvement of student achievement. The best way to incorporate a fair teacher evaluation system is to pre and post test the students that the teacher is responsible for educating.

The following steps would prove beneficial.

  1. Pre test each student during the third week of school
  2. Develop eight units of instruction with a pre and post test for each unit. This will help teachers and administrators to measure the success of students as they progress throughout the entire year.
  3. Post test each student at the end of the school year
  4. Compare the pre test and the post test results

Teacher evaluation systems that measure teacher effectiveness through pre and post testing is the only system that is fair.


Related Articles

New evaluation system gives school districts, teachers less say in reviews

NYS Gov. Cuomo Angers Teachers Union With Education Plan Featuring Performance Ratings Tied To Student Tests

How students with top test scores actually hurt a teacher’s evaluation

Education officials’ role in evaluations appears limited

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012


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Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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