Educator effectiveness is where it’s at right now in Washington state. Student teachers are currently filming themselves and analyzing student learning for the edTPA (teacher performance assessment). We have a challenging ProTeach evidence-based assessment for teachers trying to get their professional certificate. Approximately 13% of the teachers in our state are National Board certified. In addition to all of this, we have a new teacher principal evaluation system that is currently being piloted and will go into effect next school year.
Against the backdrop of all these educator effectiveness programs, last week Chad Aldeman, with an organization named Education Sector, released a report titled, “The Evergreen Effect: Washington’s Poor Evaluation System Revealed.” You can read a short summary blog post or the full report. When teachers and administrators across our state are working hard right now to get a new evaluation system up and running for next year, such a report deserves a closer look.
Mr. Aldeman starts by painting the picture of five elementary schools in Pasco. Aldeman talks about how the students perform poorly on state tests while the teachers, despite the low test scores, are almost all evaluated as satisfactory. My fellow blogger Tom White wrote more about this. What does Aldeman not mention? These particular schools in Pasco have 50-70% of their students learning English--some of the highest percentages of English language learners in the state. Our state tests are given exclusively in English—clearly students who do not speak English are going to be at a huge disadvantage. Giving teachers poor evaluations because their English-learning students do not perform well on tests in English is not going to improve student learning!