Friday, June 10, 2011

Md. teacher evaluation redesign bogs down

Michael Alison Chandler
The Washington Post
June 4, 2011

Last summer, Maryland won a $250 million federal grant with a promise to build a model to evaluate teachers and principals that would be “transparent and fair” and tie their success for the first time to student test scores and learning.

Now, the state that prides itself on cutting-edge practices and top-in-the-nation schools is struggling — along with every state or school system that has ever tried — to come up with a reliable formula for improving the teacher workforce and rooting out the lowest performers.

Bogged down by political infighting, large gaps in technical know-how and regulatory hurdles, Maryland recently applied for a year’s extension to fully execute the evaluation system it has yet to develop.

“We knew this was going to be very difficult,” said state Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick, who is requesting that the evaluations not carry consequences for teachers and principals until 2013-14, so schools will have more time to train and experiment. “If it rolls out too soon, it won’t be done well, and there will be reactions from teachers that this is a half-baked idea.”

Read more HERE.

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