To the Editor:
The state-level professionals evaluating licensed education professionals should learn from the two Education Week back-page Commentaries of April 20 and 27 (“It’s Time to Rethink Teacher Evaluation” and “How to Improve Teacher Evaluation in the Age of ESSA”). Each is distinctive in its recommendations, but taken together they form a critical recipe for creating an operational equilibrium as states try to work out credible and authentic accountability systems to evaluate teachers.
In the latter piece, Ross Wiener outlines three steps toward a rational process of evaluation, while in the former, Charlotte Danielson steps up to the plate with surprising frankness about evaluation-system design, implementation, and effectiveness.
These observations and suggestions from experts need to be included in states’ reviews of district evaluation systems, because current systems in many states often violate both professionalism and fairness by using metrics to identify and rate teachers’ impacts through test results. And that results in bad karma, bad processes, and bad outcomes.
Thomas P. Johnson
Harwich Port, Mass.
A version of this article appeared in the June 08, 2016 edition of Education Week as Essays Offer ‘Critical Recipe’ for Evaluating Teachers