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Blog posts on teacher evaluation

Teachers would be evaluated through observations by experienced teachers
from other school districts (to limit the role of politics). The evaluators wouldn't even
know beforehand whom they're going to evaluate.

New teachers would accompany and assist the evaluators because observing and
assessing is a great way to learn.

There would be a standard list of actions and attitudes to look for, and every
teacher would be given a score which would be based on:

I. the observations described above;

II. students' test scores;

III. standardized tests taken by the teachers themselves;

IV.  interviews with teachers (see below "Interviewing to keep your job"; also,
this would give teachers a chance to give more information to evaluators.)

The tests given to teachers would be used to determine (a) which teachers need
training; and (b) which teachers can do the training.

What should be done with the final scores?

1.  Average teachers would stay in the standard teaching job, but they would have
the possibility of improving their scores and rising to master teacher level.

2. Every classroom would have one standard teacher, while the more effective
master teachers would be given responsibility for several classrooms,
part time in each of these classrooms, and taking responsibility for guiding and
educating the standard teachers.

3. The more effective teachers should be paid two to three times what the regular
teachers are paid
in order to attract really smart people--people who could have been
doctors or physicists.
Schools need to start evaluating teachers effectively whether or not any teacher is
ever laid off.  Teachers are leaving schools all the time, and it's often the best
teachers who are pushed out or who choose to leave.  (Guillermo Gomez and I
both left Chula Vista Elementary School District.)  An unhealthy teacher culture that
fears change and protects mediocre and poor performers causes many good
teachers to leave, including some who are simply too disgusted to stay.  We can't
fire weak teachers because we don't have anyone to replace them, but
professional observers should evaluate all teachers, and poor performers should
be supported and supervised by good teachers.
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Interviewing to keep your job
Voice of San Diego
June 12, 2008

"...All vice principals underwent a new
interview to compete for a shifting pool of
The interview is modeled on the teachings of University of
Wisconsin Milwaukee professor Martin Haberman, who studies
disadvantaged students and the educators who help them best.
Principals applying for new jobs were interviewed as well.

"San Diego Unified signed a $23,000 contract with the Haberman
Educational Foundation to train staffers in the interview process,
which includes problem-solving scenarios and is meant to reveal the
applicants' core values. Two people ask open-ended questions during
a tape-recorded interview and score the answers.

"It's a different kind of interview. You can't really bone up. Nobody
really knows how they did," said Bruce McGirr, president of the
Administrators Association and principal at Grant School in Mission
Hills. "They walk out shaking their heads."

"The Haberman Educational Foundation declined to release interview
questions, but Grier offered examples of scenarios: How might a
principal evaluate their school's achievement? How would they
improve it? And who would they involve in that process?

"You're posed with a situation you'd find pretty typical in any school,
but especially in an urban school district. It could be a very simple
question, but the answer itself reflects what you value," said human
resources director Sam Wong. "What guides your actions, if not your

If their eyes glaze over, Grier said they aren't likely to succeed.