Evaluations that Matter

The difference one good teacher can make is profound.

I’ll never forget my second-grade teacher, Jane Foresman, who recognized I was having trouble in reading. My family moved a lot when I was a child and the more we moved the further behind I got in reading. It was this teacher’s kindness and persistence that helped me develop a love of reading and a love of education.

Each student in our state deserves the same sort of dedication.

Recently our State Board of Education took a step that will help all teachers achieve their best.

The Board last Thursday voted to adopt a Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Evaluation plan that will recognize the state’s best teachers and identify those who need additional help. The plan will do the same for administrators.

The Teacher and Leader Evaluation Systems approved by the board will provide concrete feedback to our educators based in part on observable classroom methods and the measured growth of their students. Such feedback will be invaluable to our educators, and will improve the learning of students.

Board members had a tough decision on their hands to choose between several popular evaluation systems. In the end, the board decided to allow local districts to choose between several state-supported models for this first pilot year.

I’m proud of the board’s vote for flexibility. By the end of the pilot year, board members feel they will be in a much better position to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of each system and vote on a primary system moving forward. And educators should feel the state has done its due diligence in selecting the best plan for educators and students.

An effective teacher in every classroom is the ultimate goal.

Last updated on January 12, 2012