Archive for May, 2011
It was a hell of speech in front of a packed room of Sacramento movers and shakers. The mayor of California’s largest and most diverse city called for fundamental changes in the ways districts evaluate teachers in California and the decisions based on those evaluations. He wasn’t afraid to confront the status quo with pointed rhetoric about how our current system isn’t working for teachers, students or communities. He was joined in his call by the presenters and the panelists who followed including teachers who talked extensively about how the current system was not working for them and the promise of the new systems being developed by the College Ready Promise and LAUSD and implemented by TAP in Lucia Mar Unified. Final panelists including Senator Bob Huff and Assembly member Felipe Fuentes, along with School Board President Layla Avila, Lucia Mar Asst. Superintendent Michelle Ellis and Middle School Teacher Kyle Hunsberger were similarly eloquent in their comments about the immediate need to change our broken evaluation system. With some powerful interests in Sacramento increasingly poised to not just prevent reform but to roll back many of the reforms of the last several years, it was refreshing to witness the receptivity of a diverse audience of policy makers and education stakeholders to the ideas for improvement. Hopefully, we will see movement in positive direction.
Tomorrow, in Sacramento, we’ll be holding a forum titled Innovations in Teacher Evaluation in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District. It promises to be an exciting event and is coming at just the right time with four bills in the state legislature on the teacher evaluation process.
Mayor Villaraigosa will be keynoting the event. And the three presenters are the LAUSD’s teacher effectiveness task force, the College Ready Promise consortium of charter management organizations and the non-profit TAP: The System for Student and Teacher Advancement, in collaboration with Lucia Mar Unified. These fabulous presenters including teachers, will walk through the elements of innovative, multiple-measure teacher evaluation systems being designed and implemented in California to show how these systems work; how they can be used to provide critical supports to teachers and improve student performance; and how state policy can promote these innovative practices for all California teachers and students. The goal here, is to show an audience of policymakers, the great work that’s occurring in California to reform what most of us know is a broken system for both teachers and students.
In a few days, we’ll be posting the Powerpoints from the event along with video. We hope that this will move along the conversation on these reforms in California and make a real difference in the policies that our elected leaders pass to improve the teacher evaluation. There is nothing more important in closing opportunity and acheivement gaps than the quality of the teacher in the classroom and without a robust, mutliple-measure evaluation that’s conducted annually, there’s no way for us to how effective our teachers are or give the feedback they need to improve.