Were Teachers Misled Into Rating Colleagues? [upd]

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A nationally board certified teacher sent me an email this weekend describing how she and other NBCTs were approached about doing some screening of online teacher applications that they assumed would be NEW online teacher applications.  That didn't make a ton of sense, given how many teachers were being laid off, but she applied anyway (and didn't get the gig).  She attached the letter and I thought you might want to see it.  It doesn't say either way, though I can see how it might be confusing.  Do you know anyone else who applied to do this?  At what point were they told they'd be screening veteran teachers not newbies?  Did any of them bail out at this point?  Read the attached note and let us know what you think.  UPDATE:  WBEZ says up to half of online applications were rated poorly.

SCREENING APPLICATIONS FOR NEW TEACHER CANDIDATES  

Even in these difficult economic times, there remains a need to fill teaching vacancies, and CPS anticipates receiving thousands of applications from qualified teacher candidates in the coming weeks.   

In an effort to more effectively select our future teachers, the Office of Human Capital is seeking National Board Certified Teachers to help review and rate components of the online applications before they are forwarded to CPS principals.  Participants are expected to commit a minimum of 5 hours per week beginning in July and potentially carrying into early August.  While there is no limit on the hours NBCTs can work per week, screening MUST NOT be performed during hours in which your school is in session. 

Participating NBCTs will be paid $5 per application; we anticipate an average pace of 7-8 applications screened per hour (~$35-40/hour).  Participants are encouraged to do this work from home in the evening and/or on weekends, as long as you have access to a non-public (work or personal) computer. 

If you are interested in participating, you will be expected to complete a brief practice activity (~20 minutes) and a short webinar training session (~60 minutes); a final list of NBCTs will then be selected.  You will be paid for participating in both of these activities, as well.

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  • This is bizarre. During the month of August, the teachers that were laid off at my school complained that they could not submit the application because they would be kicked back to the beginning when clicking the submit button. Perhaps the NBCT teachers were overwhelmed. Moreover, why have a job fair when teachers could be weeded out by this new process?

  • Like!

  • Process

    I am trying to grasp what went on with this process. If this was for brand new
    teachers applying for job one then we have no bitch, no teacher was evaluated.
    If, however, this group included those already teaching or reapplying after being
    Laid off then I see a real problem.
    I wonder if anyone who evaluated these r

  • I'm thinking the candidates maybe were mislead, too. I checked my online app and saw that the responses I supplied on the turnaround online application were transferred over to my CPS online app. One essay even specifies in the first sentence that I want to teach in a turnaround. Perhaps they did this to save time, but it seems the company contracted to hire for turnarounds is in charge now.
    Also, the "secretary" who interviewed anonymous probably was a telemarketer. When I was googling the turnaround process, I ran into an ad looking for callers to evaluate job seekers. The job paid six dollars an hour, for the expectation of four to six calls an hour. A college degree was required, though not necessarily in education.

  • wbez reports that half of the online applicants were rated not recommended or recommended with reservations

    http://www.wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=44638

    also -- that applicants weren't told they would be evaluated by their online applications (which doesn't make sense, entirely, since you're being evaluated by every resume you send and phone call you make).

    but still -- half!?!?

  • I do not understand what the NBCT has to do with human resources work. If we examine the so called five core propositions for NBCTS we see nothing about skill development in the area of teacher evaluation. Here are the five core propositions:

    Proposition 1: Teachers are Committed to Students and Their Learning

    Proposition 2: Teachers Know the Subjects They Teach and How to Teach Those Subjects to Students

    Proposition 3: Teachers are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning

    Proposition 4: Teachers Think Systematically about Their Practice and Learn from Experience

    Proposition 5: Teachers are Members of Learning Communities

    Even the last proposition does not in any way cover teacher evaluation or any aspects of human relations including applicatant assessment or screening. I agree with the poster who indicated that the screeners should have had administrative certificates or at least in my opinion a degree in human relations.

    Rod Estvan

  • Let us see
    Let me answer one of the questions from my experience and I hope one of the evaluators
    will grade it for me using the rubric.

  • more updates from linda lutton -- some praise for the new screening system, plus an estimate of how much time each app gets under review (8 minutes)

    http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Content.aspx?audioID=44670&utm

  • Anonymous Troll, an interesting assumed name to be sure, writes: "A type 75? Really? Have you seen the result of a Type 75's screening practices? Industrial psychologists will tell you that if you want to find good employees, get a group of good employees who know the job and what it takes to perform it well, and have him or her find you one. That's what HC did here. ISBE gives NBCTs a Master Teacher certificate. They are the best of the best, the cream of the crop, etc. In asking them to make a preliminary assessment of candidates, HC followed sound methods to try to get the best candidates interviews with principals before kids."

    First on the ISBE award of a Master Level certificate to holders of NBPTS certification. ISBE has no seperate standard at all for this certificate and there is no testing requirement for the Master-level certificate and it is renewable on the same basis as a five year Standard certificate. ( go to http://www.isbe.net/certification/requirements/toc.htm ) It does not in any way equate to an administrative certificate or have any thing to do with employee evaluations.

    Those who recieve from ISBE an administrative certificate are required to take a course in school law, I have taught this class. One of the topics covered is employment discrimination. Now if holders of administrative certificates are not being properly trained in teacher selection that is a very real problem, but holders of the ISBE Master-level certificate are not required to have any such training nor any knowledge of employment discrimination at all.

    Now as to skilled workers being the most effective screeners of new workers. Tom Peters, coauthor of "In Search of Excellence" and "A Passion for Excellence," supports using line workers in the hiring process. He argues that the first step is hiring people who are somewhat above average, then letting them prove their potential on the job. The hiring process he suggests involves first-line supervisors and the applicant's peers as part of an interviewing team; department managers spend the least amount of time interviewing unless a supervisor is being hired.

    The interviewing team focuses on the candidate's ability to be a team player, to respond positively to change, and to accept responsibility for his or her own work. During the selection process, the time spent verifying technical and professional abilities is minimal, particularly for an applicant for a supervisory position. But this team is only given filtered candidates and it is normally the HR person tha does the filtering.

    Moreover the team approach that Mr. Peters supports is just that, a collective team decision, under the control of the firm which makes the final decision. This is not what took place in the CPS screening process, a rubric was used and the NBCTs applied it apparently not even knowing that the applicants were experienced teachers.

    According to Linda Lutton from WBEZ the NBCTs had about 8 minutes per applicant and were paid by piece work at a rate of $5 per application rated. Does this sound to Anonymous Troll anything similar to what Tom Peters writes about? Also just for clarification I am not an ideological supporter of Mr. Peters who served in the Nixon administration. Mr. Peters and I do however share one thing and that is a respect for Colonel John Boyd who was a military strategist whose work I studied when I was in ROTC and in Army Logistics classes which are now all given at Fort Lee Va.

    Rod Estvan

  • Sounds like a completely sensible way to sort a lot of online applications. Many of the comments seem so needlessly process-oriented. Yes, things can be unfair in small ways, but CPS needs the best teachers it can get and if that means offending some entrenched union interests, so be it.

  • Does it sound like a good use of CPS resources to you interviewing hundreds of candidates for a handful of positions?

    Whenever CPS comes up, we all must repeat this as a mantra: "CPS is not a jobs program. The mission of CPS is to educate Chicago's children. Everything else is a means to that end."

  • Dear Pariah

    I realize how devastated you must feel .Something like this happened to me
    Long ago but I am still here while the malignant dwarf of a principal who started it
    is long gone. I observe the

  • a joyce funded advocacy group wants parents to be able to see teacher evaluations, according to this catalyst update

    http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/index.php/entry/832/Illinois_parent_group_pushes_for_access_to_teacher_evaluations

    strange timing but unintentional i guess

    /ar

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