Report Cards for Teachers
I've always been much more willing than a lot of teachers to give the DOE and the larger cohort of reformers the benefit of the doubt with regards to accountability. I believe that education, like any job, especially one that involves public money and the development of public resources (i.e. children) must develop a better system of accountability. This is why, in spite of flaws and more than a few catch-22's, I believe in a lot of the ideas behind testing, quality reviews and report cards. Now, I have to put my money where my mouth is.
According to the NY Post and Gothamschools, the DOE is expanding an initiative to grade teachers. I had my own experience with this the day after we came back from Midwinter Break when I sat down for a meeting with my principal to review my goals for this year. At the end of the meeting I was handed a packet. It was my report card. This is part of a new initiative to hold teachers accountable through the use of reports of "value added" to their students. Groups of students are given predicted performance scores. These scores are compared to their actual results, and the teacher is rated on the basis of these scores.
Now I only have one year of teaching experience, and as anyone who's been reading since the beginning knows, that first year was, ahem, rocky. So, I wasn't really expecting a great report. What I didn't expect was how low my percentile score would be, even after my rating was adjusted for years of experience. And while it was a blow to my self-esteem, it was also a way to focus my expectations for this year. I know I've come a long way since last year, so I expect a big improvement on the next report card I see.
That said, the whole thing has to be taken with a grain of salt. As much as my job has been overwhelmed by testing, I refuse to judge my performance on test scores alone. Ultimately