Evaluating The New Evaluation

News from today and over the weekend focuses on evaluating the new teacher rating system that's being pushed forward. Don Draper likes it, but then again he's not a very nice guy.

Teacher ratings overhaul forges on despite lack of union approval Sun Times: Talks on a dramatic overhaul of the way Chicago public school teachers are evaluated ended Thursday with district officials forging forward without teacher union approval on a plan that would tie the ratings of thousands of teachers in part to student test scores.

Schools, union far apart on salary negotiations Tribune:  The first round of negotiations between the Chicago Public Schools and the teachers union went squarely to the district, which will get its way in weighing student performance more heavily in teacher evaluations.

CPS to roll out new teacher evaluations Catalyst: District officials dubbed the new evaluation system REACH, for Recognizing Educators and Advancing Chicago’s Students.

What do you think about Danielson, 25 percent value-added scores using NWEA and other measures, and student surveys?  Does the package seem wise, balanced, extreme, or don't care?


Coming & Goings: CPS appointments, Malone Catalyst: Lachlan Tidmarsh, Robert Boik, Mike Rendina, Phillip Hampton, Tara Malone

Rahm ethics push Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is urging the city’s sister agencies to adapt a zero tolerance policy when it comes to employees receiving gifts from outside vendors. Emanuel sent letters to heads of the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago and the Chicago Park District asking each to enact the policy.

McCarthy, Brizard participate in community summit ABC: Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard spoke at a community summit Saturday in the wake of an uptick in violence in the city.

Chicago schools face another $700M budget hole WBEZ: Chicago Public Schools officials are bracing for another year of staggering budget deficits. For the third year in a row, CPS says it could be facing a $700 million budget gap that will force painful cuts.

Making sense of Chicago Public Schools' selective enrollment process WBEZ:
Friday on Afternoon Shift, Ms. Ellis and WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton will be on hand to take your calls and questions about the application process for selective enrollment and magnet schools, as well as the schools themselves.


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  • The teacher-bashing Chicago Tribune (Substance calls them the "Scabune") headline is disingenuous when it says the victory for the first round of negotiations goes to the CPS.

    The "victory" was won when the legislature wrote another 'Chicago-only' provision into the PERA 2010. In all the state's school districts except one, there is a 180-day bargaining period, at the end of which, if the sides cannot come to an agreement, they must accept the state's default plan.

    In Chicago-only, there was a 90-day bargaining period, and if there were no agreement at the end of it, the Board could impose its last, best offer. That the Union made some headway against the Board is remarkable when one considers the Board had no incentive to engage in good-faith bargaining. It could always impose its will in the end.

    Victory for CPS? Hardly. Now they have to try and implement this thing.

  • Editorial: CPS’ new evaluation system must be fair to teachers - Chicago Sun-Times http://ow.ly/a1SWJ

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Not sure if anyone else noticed but, world renowned education researcher, Dr. Stephen Krashen (Professor Emeritus- USC) opined on the new evaluation as well. I wonder if anyone on Clark St. has ever heard of him? Probably not.

  • In reply to Maestro:

    Headache 299
    Stephen Krashen is interesting – here’s a good introduction
    PMAD Stephen Krashen

  • Headache299
    Here is the link to the REACH Student - Frequently Asked Questions, complete with familiar BS answers, and gobs of comforting words like ‘inspires’, and ‘supports’

    Read carefully, as the authors make frequent use of foreshadowing to clue the reader in as to exactly how CPS intends to fire 4000 to 6000 plus teachers every year.


  • The lack of leadership and "smarts" on Clark St. exposes itself. You don't even have to press the issue. Trying to arrogantly push a less than half baked teacher evaluation plan exposes Rahm's less than brilliant leader Brizard and company on their incompetence. Even ISBE's Gary Chico thought the plan by CPS was less than well thought out! For all Rahm's bellowing about Chicago being a world class city, his hire is it bringing down to third world status! You have to question Rahm's faith in Brizard!

  • Here is the opinion piece published in today's Sun-Times.

    From Stephen Krashen

    Published in Chicago Sun-Times (04/01/2012)

    Teacher-rating plan flawed

    The Chicago Public Schools have decided that student test scores gains will be used as part of teacher evaluation ["Teacher ratings overhaul forges on despite lack of union approval," March 31].

    Everything is wrong with this plan. A number of studies have shown that rating teachers using test score gains does not give consistent results. Different tests produce different ratings, and the same teacher’s ratings can vary from year to year, sometimes quite a bit.
    In addition, using test score gains for evaluation encourages gaming the system, trying to produce increases in scores by teaching test-taking strategies, not by encouraging real learning.

    This is like putting a match under the thermometer and claiming you have raised the temperature of the room.

    We are all interested in finding the best ways of evaluating teachers, but using student test-score gains is a lousy way to do it.

  • Alex, you might have missed this one from NY. Glad to see professors coming to the fore against the NO RESEARCH shenanigans of folks running the largest school districts.

    Open Letter to the New York State Regents from
    New York State Professors Against High Stakes Testing

    March 30, 2012

    As lifelong educators and researchers, from across the State of New York, we strongly oppose New York State's continued reliance on high stakes standardized testing in public schools as the primary criterion for assessing student achievement, evaluating teacher effectiveness, and determining school quality. We write to express our professional consensus and concern, and to offer our assistance to the Regents in generating educationally sound alternatives to high-stakes testing as the primary strategy for assessment in New York State.

    Researchers and educational organizations have consistently documented, and a nine-year study by the National Research Council has recently confirmed, that the past decade’s emphasis on testing has yielded little learning progress. In New York State and New York City, the consequences of testing policies have been most disappointing.

    Disparate impact on students. Numerous studies document that the over-reliance on high-stakes testing bears adverse impact on student achievement and has been accompanied by widening racial/ethnic gaps. Using New York City as an example, we see that large numbers of students are performing below proficiency. High numbers of the city’s public school graduates fail the CUNY entry tests and are required to take remedial courses. Results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) suggest a failure to achieve significant reduction in the achievement gap separating New York City’s white students from African American and Latino students since 2003.

    The negative effects of our high-stakes testing environment are perhaps most pronounced for English Language Learners for whom the tests were not designed, who cumulatively and consistently fail to achieve proficiency within the limited school time (a year and a day) before they are required to take the exam in English. In 2010, 24% of 4th graders labeled as ELLs were deemed proficient in English Language Arts compared to 58% of non-ELLs. By 8th grade only 4% of ELLs were classified as proficient compared to 54% of non-ELLs. It is therefore little surprise that of the 2006 cohort, only 40% of ELLs graduated after four years compared to 75% for non-ELLs.

    Negative impact on educators. High-stakes testing creates adverse consequences not only for students but also for educators. Statisticians and educational researchers have challenged the validity, effectiveness, and ethics of using high stakes test scores to evaluate educators. As argued in an open letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel by CReATE (Chicago Researchers and Advocates for Transformative Education), “There is no evidence that evaluation systems that incorporate student test scores produce gains in student achievement… [and] Teachers will subtly but surely be incentivized to avoid students with health issues, students with disabilities, students who are English Language Learners, or students suffering from emotional issues. Research has shown that no model yet developed can adequately account for all of these ongoing factors.”

    Given various value added measures, it is not possible to actually identify with accuracy the teachers who are most effective or least effective. This is already causing some highly effective teachers to leave the profession and may very well serve as a significant disincentive for aspiring new teachers to enter the field. The recent release of New York City Teachers Data Reports unleashed a hugely demoralizing media attack on the professional dignity of teachers.

    Disparate impact on children who are disrupted by school closings. Finally, we are extremely concerned about the misuse of test scores as the primary criterion for the closing of schools. The 117 schools closings authorized by the New York City Department of Education since 2003 disproportionately affect children receiving special education services, those who receive free and reduced lunch, and those who are English Language Learners.

    In conclusion, we stand with the 1400 principals who signed a petition against teacher evaluations based on high-stakes testing. We offer our intellectual support to the State to help generate public policies that bolster schools to be intellectually vibrant environments where inquiry-based pedagogy is encouraged, class sizes are reduced, educators are respected, parents are welcomed, and students are granted dignity while learning.

    We make ourselves available to the Regents to create just policies to transform the public schools in New York.

    Bernadette Anand, Instructor and Advisor, Educational Leadership, Bank Street College
    Gary Anderson, Professor of Education Leadership, NYU
    Jean Anyon, Professor of Urban Education, The Graduate Center, CUNY
    Lee Anne Bell, Professor, Barbara Silver Horowitz Director of Education, Barnard College
    Douglas Biklen, Dean, School of Education, Syracuse University
    Sari Knopp Biklen, Laura and Douglas Meredith Professor, School of Education, Syracuse University
    Robert Cohen, Professor of Teaching and Learning, NYU
    Edward Deci, Professor of Psychology and Helen F. & Fred H. Gowen Professor in the Social Sciences, University of Rochester
    Greg Dimitriadis, Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy, University at Buffalo, SUNY
    Arnold Dodge, Chair, Department of Educational Leadership and Administration, Long Island University -Post
    Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Urban Education, The Graduate Center, CUNY
    Ofelia Garcia, Professor of Urban Education, The Graduate Center, CUNY
    Beverly Greene, Professor of Psychology, St. John’s University
    Suzanne Kessler, Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Purchase College, SUNY
    Wendy Luttrell, Professor of Urban Education and Social-Personality Psychology, The Graduate
    Center, CUNY
    Ernest Morrell, Professor, English Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; Director: Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME); Vice President: National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
    Leith Mullings, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, The Graduate Center, CUNY
    Mark D. Naison, Professor of African American Studies, Fordham University
    Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, Executive Director, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, New York University
    Celia Oyler, Associate Professor and director of Inclusive Education Programs, Teachers College,
    Columbia University
    Pedro Pedraza, Researcher at El Centro, The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, CUNY
    Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education, New York University and Former Assistant Secretary of Education
    Michael Rebell, Professor of Law and Educational Practice, Teachers College, Columbia University
    Richard M. Ryan, Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Education and Director of Clinical Training, Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester
    Ira Shor, Professor of English, CUNY Graduate Center
    Louise Silverstein, Professor of School-Child Clinical Psychology, Ferkauf Graduate School, Yeshiva University
    Carola Suarez-Orozco, Professor of Applied Psychology and Co-Director, Immigration Studies at NYU
    Henry Louis Taylor, Jr. Professor of Urban History and Director of Center for Urban Studies, University of Buffalo, SUNY
    Ethel Tobach, Curator Emerita, American Museum of Natural History
    Sofia Villenas, Director, Latino Studies Program and Associate Professor of Anthropology and Education, Cornell University
    Lois Weis, State University of New York Distinguished Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy, University at Buffalo, SUNY

  • the trib editorial page likes the CPS plan, wants the rest of the state to follow

    A new report card for teachers - chicagotribune.com http://ow.ly/a5yyJ

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Another puff piece editorial from the Tribune editorial page. Talk about a rubber stamp board, they're making the Board of Education look tough.

  • Headache 299
    If CPS proposed it, the Tribune would endorse eating chips of lead paint as a dietary supplement for children.

  • Rahm and Brizard adamant about implementing a less than half baked plan shows what a mess CPS top administration IS! Shows what class of leader Rahm picked by intention. By keeping Brizard, Rahm keeps CPS the laughing stock of the nation. It serves Rahm's privatization Walmart kind of education offered to the black and brown students.

  • CPS veteran describes what some classroom teachers would do to earn merit pay (it isn't pretty) http://ow.ly/a6UVX

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