Jul 312012

Education Reform hits bump in teacher evaluation

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Education Reform: Classroom observations fail to catch problems, state says

Education Reform: Jul 17, 2012   |   Written by Tony Gonzalez, The Tennessean

Tennessee’s new way of evaluating classrooms “systematically failed” to identify bad teachers and provide them more training, according to a state report published Monday.

The Tennessee Department of Education found that instructors who got failing grades when measured by their students’ test scores tended to get much higher marks from principals who watched them in classrooms. State officials expected to see similar scores from both methods.

“Evaluators are telling teachers they exceed expectations in their observation feedback when in fact student outcomes paint a very different picture,” the report states. “This behavior skirts managerial responsibility.”

The data revealed:

• More than 75 percent of teachers received scores of 4 or 5 — the highest possible — from their principals, compared with 50 percent scoring 4 or 5 based on student learning gains measured on tests.

• Fewer than 2.5 percent scored a 1 or 2 when observed, while 16 percent scored a 1 or 2 when judged by learning gains.

• Of teachers who received the learning gains score of 1, the average observational score was, on average, 3.6.

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Tom McDonald’s Comments:

Again the focus seems to be on the wrong things, resulting in no advanced individual student learning outcomes.

Couple this with the cost of the initiative, we now have a double negative.

Here is another failed initiative in PA:


The learning research is solid that for advanced individual learning to occur, the traditional one to many teaching system needs to be replaced with a brain based, research proven, classroom proven, truly personalized learning system



Teachers and administrators traditionally are subject matter experts and are not traditionally learning experts

We need to introduce them to brain based, research proven, classroom proven, individual learning methodologies, so they understand how individuals learn most effectively and most efficiently

Then they need to integrate these proven learning methodologies into the classroom

Then they need to be coached, mentored, facilitated, assessed, as to individual effectiveness of implementation as well as individual student learning outcomes.

If we continue with a broken system of learning and expect to advance individual learning we will consistently fail

For more information on brain based, research proven, classroom learning methodologies that advance individual learning:


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