Dorn Releases Teacher and Principal Evaluation Data
OLYMPIA — April 6, 2011 — The first district-level survey showing how teachers and principals are being evaluated was released today, State Superintendent Randy Dorn said.
A total of 289 out of the state’s 295 school districts completed the survey, which is required by the federal government. The survey can be found at the bottom right of the following Web page: http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/StimulusPackage/FiscalStabilization.aspx.
“Getting this initial data is a great first step,” Dorn said. “Evaluations are a national issue. In Washington, we’ve had the same evaluation system for more than 25 years. Judged by today’s standards, the system is neither fair nor meaningful. We need a system that looks at performance in multiple ways. The work we’re doing now will get to that point, and I think other states will look to us as a model.”
State law passed in 2010 directed the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a four-tier evaluation system by 2013-14. (Currently, most districts have a two-tier system: satisfactory and unsatisfactory.) To get to that new system, the Legislature directed OSPI to develop and pilot different evaluation systems in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Eight districts and one consortium of districts were chosen for the pilots.
The survey data show that 59,022 of 59,481 teachers – and 2,578 of 2,619 principals – were given a satisfactory rating in 2009-10. That same year, 209 districts of the 289 that completed the survey used a two-tier system to rate its teachers. The numbers mirror national data released.
Many teachers and administrators agree that current evaluation systems are deeply flawed. OSPI, the American Institutes for Research and the state’s nine educational service districts recently conducted 10 educator forums. More than 350 people attended, including teachers, principals, administrators, parents and community members. Attendees were asked about evaluation systems. Some of the criticisms include:
- The two-tiered system is not helpful;
- Classroom observations are pre-planned, leading to observations that don’t represent actual classroom practices; and
- Feedback isn’t provided to teachers and principals until the end of the school year, when it is too late to adjust teaching in response.
“This is very important work,” Dorn said. “It’s work that doesn’t just benefit teachers, it benefits students, too. A better evaluation system will lead to better teaching, and better teaching will lead to better learning.”
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.
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