By Abbe Smith, New Haven Register, 9/13/11
NEW HAVEN — Thirty-four teachers who failed to make the grade last year are no longer in the classroom, the result of the district's new evaluation system.
Sixteen were tenured teachers.
The final results of the teacher and principal evaluation systems were presented at Monday's Board of Education meeting. Over the past year, New Haven rolled out a new evaluation system that garnered national attention for including student performance on standardized tests, as well as other standards to determine teachers' effectiveness.
The system, which also rewards top-performing teachers, is the result of collaboration between district leaders and the teachers' union. In addition to teachers, four principals were let go from the district over the past two years.
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School officials and the head of the teachers union stressed that the new evaluation system, called TEVAL, is as much about improving and rewarding good teachers as it is about getting rid of poor teachers.
An interview with Anne T Henderson, a leader in parent involvement and engagement, on how educators can bring more families into our public schools. Originally posted on the National Education Association's Priority School's Campaign site. A number of positive, substantive tips for teachers.
Why do so many educators find engaging parents to be a major challenge?
First and foremost, our teachers need to get some good professional development. According to the 2005 MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, parent engagement is the number one area where they feel least prepared — and they’re crying out for help. This is something student teachers should learn about, but we still haven’t incorporated parental and family engagement into their coursework. When I ask educators how many have had good preparation for working with families while they were training to become a teacher, I might get one or two hands in a room of 100 people. When I ask how many have gotten professional development on the topic since becoming a teacher, again, it’s just one or two hands. We know it’s important to do, but it’s still not happening.
Another new study by Tony Bryk, Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago, published last year, found that there were five essential ingredients necessary for transforming struggling Chicago Public Schools over the past 15 years.Read More >
On a few occasions, she said, she even pointed them to the correct answers on difficult questions.
“They’d have a hard time, and I’d break it down for them,” said the teacher matter-of-factly.
Such actions are possible grounds for termination. As a result, the Notebook/NewsWorks agreed to protect her identity.
The teacher came forward following the recent publication of a 2009 report that identified dozens of schools across Pennsylvania and Philadelphia that had statistically suspicious test results. Though her school was not among those flagged, she claims that adult cheating there was “rampant.”
The Notebook/NewsWorks is also withholding the name of her former school.
But her story seems worth telling.Read More >
Alas, we’ve forgotten that lesson at home. All across America, school budgets are being cut, teachers laid off and education programs dismantled.
The United States supports schools in Afghanistan because we know that education is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to build a country.
(report from Achieve Hartford)
How can Connecticut effectively address the achievement gap - and the economic challenges - that stand in the way of a better quality of life for individuals and their communities?
Thought leaders and thoughtful students examined our most vexing urban challenges and issued a collective call to action, underscoring both the urgency of dealing with the achievement gap and the importance of valuing education at the grassroots level. We were most focused on the panel that centered on education and equity, but the additional two panels, on the economics of race and health disparities, were totally interrelated and every bit as as worthwhile. As part of the program, local, state, and national leaders, including several members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Rep. John Larson, brought contemporary perspectives to the themes of race and justice.Read More >