Data Use, Technology, and Educational Leadership
I got through reading the Irreplaceables. Not everyone agrees with the arguments and position of the report, but I couldn’t help but keep flashing back to some of the truly great teachers I knew in Houston who either didn’t stay in the classroom or moved on to other school settings. What would it have taken to get us to stay? Feeling valued and compensated and part of league of outstanding teachers sound like reasonable motivators to me.
Anyways, one of the contentious points in the report deals with the handling of handle chronically low-performing teachers (those who do worse than average 1st year teachers year after year). This, too, makes me think back to handful of teachers I’ve known. Was the problem that they just didn’t the right sort of feedback? Here’s some recent research about how better evaluation can help mid-career teachers.
Although the two readings might seem to run contrary to each other, they agree when it comes to the important of honest feedback. High- and low-performing teachers alike can benefit from it. Foreshadowing the TNTP report, Halverson et al. (2004) describe how supervisors can sometimes give teachers negative ratings on rubrics and other standards-based evaluations, then write only positive remarks in other areas. It’s hard walking the line between “maintaining good will” and being direct about another adult’s need for improvement.