Northwest Regional Comprehensive Center

Printed from: http://nwrcc.educationnorthwest.org/resource/1560

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher Evaluation: What’s Fair? What’s Effective?

This Education Leadership article by Charlotte Danielson gives an overview of the basic characteristics of an effective observation system that provides the information necessary to conduct concrete, actionable feedback conversations. These characteristics are relevant regardless of the specific framework being used. This Education Leadership article by Charlotte Danielson gives an overview of the basic characteristics of an effective observation system that provides the information necessary to conduct concrete, actionable feedback conversations. These characteristics are relevant regardless of the specific framework being used.

According to Danielson:

  • The culminating activity of the evaluation process is a critical conversation between observer and teacher following the observation and rubric scoring
  • Observers need training to learn the interactive skills required for professional conversations
  • Observers need to record evidence of what is said and done by both teachers and students so evaluations aren’t based on their interpretations
  • Every state or district must set a clear and accepted definition of good teaching so observers know what to look for and teachers know how they’ll be evaluated
  • Providing teachers with examples of levels of performance—from unexperienced to experienced to expert—facilitates observer training.
  • Any instrument used for high-stakes teacher evaluations should be validated (i.e., high levels of teacher performance on the instructional framework should predict high levels of student learning)
  • In this new era of high-stakes teacher evaluation, Danielson believes any evaluation system must allow for fair judgments about a teacher’s practice, accurately reflecting the teacher’s true level of performance. A quality framework is based on the premise that no matter how skilled a teacher is in other aspects of teaching—such as careful planning, working well with colleagues, and communicating with parents—effective classroom practice is the key to being a good teacher.

    An additional tool

    The Framework for Teaching provides more detail on the components of the system and describes varied uses. Most relevant, it insists on the system’s full value being realized as the foundation for professional conversations among practitioners as they seek to enhance their skills. The framework can also be used as the foundation for a school or district’s mentoring, coaching, professional development, and teacher evaluation processes, thus linking all those activities and helping teachers become more thoughtful practitioners. Included on this site are various tools that are free to download with registration.