To the Editor:
With many districts trying to tie teacher evaluations to standardized tests that are often neither valid nor secure (“Evaluation System Weighing Down Tennessee Teachers,” Oct. 19, 2011), it’s only a matter of time before teachers take unfair evaluations to court. With that in mind, I’d suggest teachers keep careful records of student progress.
Test children individually in the fall and throughout the year. Keep monthly samples of compositions, because they show growth in reasoning, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, and many other skills. If possible, get another teacher to test your students. If that is not feasible, ask parents to help you with the testing and use media to record a child’s reading and oral responses.
Once these cumbersome “evaluations” start costing the district money, teachers will see changes.
Linda Mele Johnson
Long Beach, Calif.
A version of this article appeared in the November 09, 2011 edition of Education Week as Tips for Teachers Facing New Evaluation Systems