Monday, March 5, 2012

Latest twists in teacher ratings

Teacher effectiveness ratings seem to be slow-tracked in Charlotte,  but Nashville is about to become the third large district to release ratings for individual teachers.  The Tennessean reports that each teacher's evaluation on a five-point scale will be made public this summer,  following the lead of media-initiated releases in Los Angeles and New York City (read one New Yorker's account of being labeled a bad teacher here.)

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has set aside the new tests and value-added ratings that created so much controversy last spring.  Local teachers continue to study the best ways to gauge effectiveness,  but the state's Race to the Top program is now taking the lead on evaluations based on student data. Students around the state will pilot a new survey this spring that could eventually be part of that standard, along with test-score gains.

In January, North Carolina released aggregate job-evaluation results for principals in each district and teachers at each school.  Chief Academic Officer Rebecca Garland said last week there are no plans to post evaluation results for individuals.  When and how the new evaluations might be linked to pay remains unclear.

Meanwhile,  CMS interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh and school board Chairman Ericka Ellis-Stewart are scheduled to update the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee about local performance-pay and teacher evaluation efforts on Tuesday.

Officials from Project LIFT, the philanthropic school-reform group working with CMS, are also on the agenda.  LIFT is looking at some kind of performance pay or bonuses in its nine schools for 2013-14. For the coming year,  top teachers in those schools are being offered retention bonuses based on job evaluations and test-score gains if they'll commit to staying through 2012-13.

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