The evaluation of teachers has become one of the most contentious issues that have been debated heavily, especially during the eras of Barack Obama and George Bush.
Teacher evaluation methods failed
Teachers have a huge impact on students, and thus it is necessary to pay attention to policy, effort, and time when it comes to teacher evaluation. The best way to get the best teachers to teach students is through evaluation, but the process is ineffective with the misconception that all teachers are rated as good, and there is no mechanism of identifying ineffective teachers. Over the past efforts to enhance teachers’ evaluation has been expensive and seem to be ineffective considering reforms meant to improve the process were unsuccessful.
For instance, during the Obama administration, there was a push to evaluate teachers through the Race to the Top program via standardized test scores. The value-added modeling (VAM) was used, and it tries to use the standardized student scores to determine a teacher’s value while considering other factors that may influence the student. According to experts, this method wasn’t reliable for high stake decisions. Although some states stopped using this method in teacher evaluation, others still do.
Disparities in schools making evaluation challenging
There is a difference in teacher assessment practices because of the difference in schools’ resources for teachers’ development. For instance, in some districts, they spend $7,000 on teacher development, while in others, it is much lower. Also, there is a disparity in the availability of supervisors who have skills, time, and knowledge to conduct evaluation and offer supportive and important feedback.
Since the VAM method, as well as other observation instruments, are offering little in teacher evaluation, there is a need to improve the evaluation method. Most importantly, the Every Student Succeeds Act offers flexibility in the evaluation of teachers, and thus this seems to be better than it has been in the past decade with the No Child Left Behind law. Also, there is a need for opportunities to hear teachers and the elimination of evaluation based on student achievement.