News in Brief
Teachers Give Low Marks to Evaluation Systems
A majority of teachers say current evaluation systems have harmed their relationships with parents, students, administrators, and other teachers, according to a survey by a public schools advocacy group. Some teachers also reported taking medication for anxiety because of the stresses of the systems.
The nationwide, nonrandom survey of 2,964 teachers and principals was conducted last fall by the Network for Public Education, a group led by education historian and activist Diane Ravitch that opposes high-stakes testing and other policies seen as contributing to a lack of support and respect for teachers.
Eighty-three percent of respondents said the inclusion of standardized-test scores in teacher evaluations has had a negative impact on classroom instruction. Teachers said they now feel forced to "teach to the test" instead of to plan fun or meaningful units, and they spend hours poring over data instead of brainstorming ways to better reach their students.
Vol. 35, Issue 29, Page 5