Colorado reforms tenure

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by smalltowngal, Jun 13, 2010.

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  1. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    For those of you struggling with weak admin, does your district not allow teacher transfers within the district? In other words, can you not move to another school, if an opening arises, where a strong administrator exists?

    Where I am, each year teachers move, retire, resign, get non re-elected, etc. Those openings are first available to existing teachers. Then, depending on budget, we may look outside for the existing vacancies. This year, for instance, we are not hiring any teachers from the outside but we had plenty of movement on the inside.

    If you work for a weak admin, I encourage you to move on.
     
  2. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Tiffany~I ended up resigning from that school because I was pg and was due at the beginning of Sept and was 30 minutes away from home. I know in my district now we can transfer to another campus if they have an opening, and we get first dibs on those jobs.
     
  3. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Only one high school in my district and I love my P and AP. They are great except when it comes to addressing the problems of teachers. As a previous poster states, I don't know what goes on in other classroom teaching wise, I am only addressing the issues I know happen. Why do I know they happen, because at EVERY faculty meeting we are told the same things over and over again "A few of you continue to allow food and drinks in your room, allow students to leave early for lunch, leave during your prep, etc. . . " So, why tell us all when they know exactly the guilty parties?? We have teachers that don't turn in required info and nothing happens. I know this because the basketball coach next door frankly tells me he doesn't have time to complete the paperwork and he proudly tells me he has never been reprimanded for not turning the work in.

    As a new dept head this year, I emailed my P asking what was the procedure I needed to follow since one of the teachers in our dept wasn't using our common assessment. He asked who the teacher was, and when he found out who it was, my P said he would take care of the issue. Guess what, he never did . . . .

    So, again, I come to this discussion with LOTS of issues so I know I am not offering level headed discussion :D

    I have never been asked to fill out an evaluation for any P or AP.
     
  4. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    My district had results based budgeting implemented by the state. This means that schools have to balance funds based on what they already are given. So a principal has a certain amount of money and no more, there is a teacher retiring sometime during the summer. If the teacher retires past a certain date the voluntary transfers are no longer considered. The principal goes to the teacher retiring and asks to hold the notification till such and such date. Now the school instead of bringing in a teacher from the district who has 15 years experience and thus a relatively higher salary can get a brand new teacher who will make almost 20,000 dollars less. Then there is the involuntary transfers, rifs and consolidation who all get placed before voluntary transfers. Needless to say the voluntary transfers are minimal in my district even though we theoretically have the right to do so. We also do not get to write evaluations of the administrators.
     
  5. TiffanyL

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    That would be part of the problem.
     
  6. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    We do evaluate our principals every spring. They are confidential. I have had 3 principals at my current job. The first left for greener pastures. I really liked #2 and hated to see him go. The current one is very good and supportive of the teachers.
     
  7. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I am not truly against tenure but there does need to be some type of reform. As ku_alum said, it would be very difficult to measure performance but we cannot continue to have bad teachers hiding behind their tenure and good teachers out there who do not have jobs. I taught one year in a local public school. Our earth science teacher graded his students on cooking. His first block class cooked breakfast, he is off at second block, third block cooks lunch, and fourth block cooks dinner for him to bring home. Three sets of administrators have allowed this to go on for the past 10 years because these are the kids that "don't want to go to college" and they can pass their third science to get a high school diploma. He has a refrigerator, microwave, slow cookers, electric fry pans, and a portable electric burner. They get a grade based on how good the food is and presentation of the food. Other teachers who have complained have been told that he has tenure and it is a pain to get rid of someone with tenure. This is why tenure needs reform. How can it be done? I do not know but something needs to be done.
     
  8. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    In my district, non tenure are evaluated twice non formal and twice formal. Tenured are evaluated twice non formal and once formal.
     
  9. mrsc_teaches

    mrsc_teaches Companion

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    I totally whole heartedly disagree. I dont know where you are the principal but I teach low income urban. I have parents I have never met or spoken to and it is not for lack of trying.
    It shouldnt fall completely on the teachers shoulders, when are we going to step up and blame it on the parent???
    I worked my tail off all year with a group of overly angry Kindergarteners. I spent a large portion of my day breaking up fights and trying to teach compassion and friendship along with the required math and reading elements. I had kids move forward but wow if the mom or dad or whoever is taking care of them would take some responsibility and practice letters, numbers, and sight words, I could only imagine the amazing strides they could have made.
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    We do have a survey where our principals are evaluated. I'm not sure if anyone really looks at the surveys or not.
     
  11. ecsmom

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    I know I can see a big difference in my students who have parents who read to them and reinforce skills at home and the ones who don't. I think we all would agree that a parent is the child's first teacher.
     
  12. TiffanyL

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    My school has 80% of students economically disadvantaged. The parents are doing the best they can where I'm at, some working multiple jobs and raising large families. My job is to make sure their children get a quality education.
     
  13. TeacherShelly

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    After 15 years in the corporate world, our performance reviews were based on our managers' evaluation of our performance. In the teaching environment, the focus is so laser-specific on standardized test scores. That is really strange. Even when Duncan talks about not focusing on standardized test scores, he says, "We will focus on growth!" ... based on standardized test scores.

    Why don't teachers trust their managers (principals) to evaluate their performance? Why are performance evaluations not part of the tenure process?
     
  14. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    In my relatively short time as a teacher, I have seen two tenured teachers get fired. It took a few years, but it happened. The P knew the problem and had the determination to get it done.

    The year I was hired, another teacher was hired who has been in my opinion AWFUL. LOW test scores year after year, very poor classroom management, and IMHO extremely unprofessional comments. Somehow, within her first two years it wasn't clear if it was rookie mistakes that could be fixed, or a life long waste in the education system. She made tenure. She is so bad, but the new P is happy complaining about her without actually doing anything. :mad:

    In my district you are evaluated twice the first two years. Once tenured, we are evaluated every other year, until we hit a certain number of years it bounces to every 3 years, then 5.

    I think we should still be evaluated every year. Just because I didn't suck last year, doesn't mean I can keep that up the next year. I work with a teacher (whom I love, really) who has been having a rough two years. I think her class has suffered this year and maybe if she was under the scope a little more she would have forced herself to be better despite everything she has been going through. If my child was in the class, I would not be a happy parent.
     
  15. futureteach21

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    It was my interpretation that the CO tenure laws require a student to display growth, not pass the test. ANY student no matter what situation they are in, should show growth. Passing a test is not the main focus of this law, using tests to display growth is.
     
  16. TeacherShelly

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    Student growth is measured via the standardized test, though. To me, that is the same problem as measuring a teacher using a student's standardized test score.
     
  17. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Oh yes Shelly I agree, students improve in so many ways not shown through any sort of test. I just got the impression people were misunderstanding the law. I've kept up with the law changes (and we talked about it in so many of my classes), and the legislators, union, and teachers were clear that no one is expecting perfection. I agree this is NOT the best way, but at least someone is attempting to change things.

    Watching the news coverage, one moment resonates in my mind. When the law was passed, a long time CO teacher began crying for what it meant for future and current teachers.
     
  18. TeacherShelly

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    It's a real dilemma. On the one hand, we cannot just let kids' growth go unmeasured. But how to measure it?

    I went to a great conference called Learning and the Brain back in February. One speaker, John Medina (Brain Rules author) said that "Theory of Mind," or the ability to understand what gaps exist in another's thinking, is the KEY to effective teachers; AND there is a test to see who has it. The opposite of Theory of Mind is Autism.
     
  19. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I actually have had very successful growth with my students year after, but I have to disagree with the ANY student statement. I had a student a few years ago whose test score went down. A few weeks prior to that his mother and grandmother were stabbed to death by his grandma's live in boyfriend who then committed suicide. The mom was at the grandma's house because the week prior to that, the parents separated.

    So I would have to say no... not ANY child will show growth. The vast majority will, if you are doing your job I agree with that. I have had numerous students jump up quite a bit, but they leave me still not quite Proficient. I take pride in their growth anyway.
     
  20. Reality Check

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    Tenure is a must, especially in the climate we are working in today.

    With cost/position-cutting going on, too many administrators are using observations as weapons, not as ways to assist teachers in their improvement. They (principals, vice principals, etc.) try to make themselves look good at the expense of others in order to save their own positions.

    The profession is politically charged enough already. There's no need to make it more so because some Principal wants to show the school board how he's "doing his job" at the expense of someone's livelihood or because someone's nephew needs a teaching job, so they need to open up a spot.

    Believe me, it happens.
     
  21. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Tenure is an issue, I've always struggled with. For my younger teachers who know what they're doing I think tenure is great it protects their job security. In the past five years, my department has had 5 new teachers and I've recommended four of them for tenure because I know they are GREAT teachers. What Troubles me is that there are teachers in my school, who I know even in there first 3 years sucked, how on earth did they get recommended for tenure?

    I've honestly never seen a good teacher become bad. I've just seen bad teachers become worse. I'm sorry, but if you work for me and after two years you can't figure out the curriculum and cover the material your're out of here. I'm not going to write up a teacher who allows students to eat in class or doesn't enforce the back pack rule, which my boss nor I do not agree with. However, if a teacher cannot maintain control of a classroom and does not follow the academic policies set forth by the department in regards to rigor you are gone. You're not fulling anyone by refusing to give essays in HS, you are lazy and you just don't want to grade them. Don't try to tell me otherwise, as your boss why you didn't assign any essays all year in an honors class. (Sorry for the vent)
     
  22. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    On a cycling forum called bikeforums.net, there is currently a long discussion on this very topic (I started it). What you read here is what I said on that forum today.

    Teacher don't really have tenure. I can be fired for many things, including incompetence and not being a very good teacher. It's just that in order for me to be fired, they have to be able to prove in court that I'm a lousy teacher and that's very hard to do because there are so many conflicting opinions on what makes a good or bad teacher.

    So you want to base my job security on student test scores. OK, fine.

    But this last school year I had three kids in my class who had serious emotional problems and liked to have multiple major meltdowns during the course of the day. I lost significant amounts of instructional time dealing with these meltdowns. The parents were all in denial and thought their children were fine.

    I had a few other kids who thought the meltdowns were funny and did as much as they could to aggravate the emotionally unstable kids in the class. So I also spent a lot of instructional time disciplining those children. Then, their parents got tired of their kids being in trouble, and thought I was being mean and singling out their kids. (I was because the kids were being jerks). So I spent a lot of time dealing with parents who were annoyed that I kept calling them and telling them their kids couldn't behave in class.

    If my job security was based on test scores, would or should I have the right to permanently remove these kids from my class so that I could properly teach the ones who were willing and capable of learning?
     
  23. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Also, if they want to use test scores to evaluate me, can I pick the curriculum I use? That way, if they decide to adopt whatever the publishing industry says is the latest educational fad - i.e. "whole language" - can I opt out and teach the way I know my students will learn?
     
  24. silver rain

    silver rain Comrade

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    I teach in Texas. In my district, we are evaluated every year regardless of how many years of experience. We have unannounced observations monthly with numerous walk thrus and one formal announced observation.
    I have seen several ineffective teachers (new and with lots of experience) nonrenewed in the 20+ years I have taught.
    I have never been asked to evaluate or complete any type of survey tool to express the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a principal or an AP.
     
  25. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I teach first grade, and therefore teach phonics. I also use a lot of technology in my classroom. I have an LCD projector and use it constantly. When the kids sound out words, instead of writing them on the board, I often put them up on the screen and use colored fonts to highlight certain sounds and spellings. I go far beyond what our scripted phonics program says to do.

    Well, my principal came in and decided she didn't like that. The curriculum said to write the words on the board, so that's what I was supposed to do. I wrote the words on the board, but I also used the computer. But there was no mention of using a computer in the curriculum, so I was not supposed to do that.

    Our curriculum also calls for the class to respond in unison to teacher prompts - I point to the sound, the kids say the sound, then blend and say the word together. I know **** good and well, that if I was taught that way, I wouldn't learn. "Why pay attention when everyone else is saying he words?" is what I would have thought as a first grader. Knowing this, I often call on students individually to sound out the words. Moreover, the students who I call on are generally the ones who I think will check out mentally if I don't.

    Well, this also was not in the script, so when my principal saw me doing that, she corrected me and told me not to do it any more.

    Which brings us back to the matter of job protection for teachers. As a classroom teacher, I am the last line of defense against bad educational policies and practices based on flawed research. Having a certain measure of job security means that when presented with crackpot methodology dreamed up by some university professor who hasn't taught children in 20 years, I can use my professional judgment as to whether or not it will work in my classroom.
     
  26. futureteach21

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    Good points, Sarge.
     
  27. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Teachers have two sets of bosses - parents and administrators. What worries teachers is that often, by doing our jobs correctly, we manage to **** off he former who then complain to the latter. I had the parents of two children complain about me to the principal this year, resulting in hour long meetings with the principal. In both cases, their kids were seriously misbehaving in class, and these parents thought I was being too strict with their adorable little darlings. One parent did not like that I told her about her daughter's misbehavior with her daughter present. The other did not like me calling her whenever her son misbehaved but also didn't want me to send him to another classroom or take away his recess. She all but wanted me to basically give her son permission to do whatever he wanted in class.
     
  28. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Actually they could do three things that would make unions and tenure almost moot.

    First of all, eliminate the "administrative credential." This little piece of paper is the only way for anyone to have any type of leadership or supervisory role in K-12 education. It's not easy to get. It takes about two years of very expensive and time consuming college coursework which must be completed after one has five years of successful teaching experience. Very few teachers who are working in the profession and have family responsibilities can afford the time and money to do this. Thus, very few working teachers have administrative credentials.

    By eliminating the administrative credential, you would make any experienced teacher eligible to apply for administrative positions. Almost overnight, there would be more teachers taking on extra responsibilities, working to improve their skills, serving on committees, etc. As it stands right now, there is very little incentive for teachers to do these things, because "promotions" do not exist in the field of education. That's why our unions have made it so we get those automatic raises everyone complains about. But if teachers knew that demonstrating leadership potential meant a chance to get the principals job when he or she retires, they would do it. In most jobs, the worker has a shot at becoming a supervisor, the supervisor has a shot at becoming a manager, and the manager has a shot at becoming the director etc. That's how most people in most professions advance. And if your company isn't promoting, you start looking for a job in a company that is. Which brings me to my next point.

    Eliminate the annual "teacher contract." Every year, just about every teacher, signs a contract at the end of the school year obligating them to teach in their district for another year. It's a very one sided contract because it doesn't give anyone any job security they don't already have through state law. This contract is binding. If I break it, my school can have my teaching credential suspended with a permanent mark on it. These contracts are holdovers from the days of schoolmarms in one-room school houses to keep them from getting married in the middle of the school year and leaving a community without a teacher.

    But what about the disruption to childrens' education caused by a teacher leaving mid-year? Ironically, my teacher contract does not keep me from abandoning my school, just my district. In most districts, if a job opens up mid-year at another site, teachers are allowed to transfer. Also, many districts will consolidate classes well into the school year for budgetary reasons. So this law does not exist in the interest of childrens' education, at least not anymore. This law only serves to make it easier for school districts to retain teachers without offering competitive salaries unless forced to by a union. If you eliminated the annual teacher contract, unions would be far less relevant because any teacher who didn't like their pay or working conditions could just leave and find a job in another district. In that way, it would be far more common for school districts to find themselves competing for teachers.

    Finally, create more supervisory roles and leadership positions for classroom teachers.
    As I've mentioned before, very few promotion opportunities exist for teachers. Sure, we have "grade level leaders" and "department chairs" but those people do not supervise any other teachers. Most are unpaid positions or get a very small stipend. All they do is run meetings coordinate field trips, and order supplies. Quite often, they are appointed against their will.

    The only person who can evaluate a teacher is an administrator. Typically, a principal or vice principal has to evaluate between 30 and 60 people a year. Seldom does the teaching background of the administrator doing the evaluation match the teacher they are evaluating. Next year I'm being evaluated by our VP who has only ever taught sixth grade. This has me a little worried since many things you do with first graders are exactly the opposite as what you do with sixth graders. I hope she knows that. At the same time, I could probably do a lot of things wrong and she wouldn't have a clue.

    Now if the person evaluating me was another working first grade teacher, my evaluation would be far more meaningful. Also, I'd actually have to be on my toes a bit more since the first grade teacher would know exactly what I was doing and what the educational outcomes would be.But most importantly, I'd have a lot more incentive to improve my teaching skills knowing that good evaluations would eventually lead to a promotion into a position of more responsibility.

    And once again, I would have less need to depend on my union to secure my pay raises.
     
  29. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Sarge-fyi, your post just became the first I added to my "Favorites List". Very well said :thumb:

    My opinion is that tenure is as good as the administrators who support it. My own school has had 3 teachers, 2 tenured and 1 who was heading for tenure, removed in the last 3 years. Prior to those 3 years, these teachers were basically given-by administration-carte blanche to do whatever they wanted, whether that had anything to do with curriculum or not. The practices used by these teachers were, in my opinion, ineffective and unrelated to the subject matter.

    However, getting new adminstration changed this. Our new super does not put up with ineffectiveness. Therefore, these teachers are gone-fairly, and with justice. They fought their fights, but were ultimately proven to be what everyone knew they were. No protection by tenure.

    And, the rest of us are on notice-show up, do your job, and do it well, or you're out.

    Admin makes or breaks tenure.
     
  30. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    You will be pleased to know that what you read I wrote and posted on another forum today and well over a hundred mostly non-teachers read it. And most of them agreed with me.
     
  31. shouldbeasleep

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  32. shouldbeasleep

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    25 years experience

    I've seen three poor teachers. Two of them were during the time we had tenure. They were both shuffled off to other schools.

    We don't have tenure now. And the one teacher I know of who is incompetent and just plain mean is not likely to hold on to her job after this year unless there is some kind of drastic improvement. She's on an "improvement" plan.

    What's hard to take is that she is probably going to "infect" another whole group of children before she's gone.

    While I've only seen three very poor teachers, I've seen plenty that I just don't like. I don't like the way they teach, I don't like the way they slide into school, I don't like the way they talk to the kids. But I don't think it's enough to fire someone. We don't live in a perfect world, and I'm not the boss. (Unfortunately.) There has to be some kind of assessment rather than "I don't like."
     
  33. KinderCowgirl

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    I've worked with a few teachers who staff (and admin) did not want teaching their own children-I think that's a bad sign. I think there are teachers out there who are really failing our kids-not even putting in the minimum-we shouldn't stand for that. Everyone should be putting in 100% or you don't have a job-that's the way it is in the rest of the job world.

    To bounce off what Sarge was saying-we have a district curriculum that is not aligned at all with the standardized tests we are required to give in K-2. This past year they were very strict about following that curriculum and not, as we had in the past, preparing the kids for that test. So you're holding teachers accountable for growth on a test that wasn't created to measure growth.

    I really think most admin's would be willing to pay for quality-even in this economy. It's a lot cheaper to keep a great teacher at a higher salary, than deal with the fallout of a bad teacher at a lower salary-but that's just my :2cents:.
     
  34. TiffanyL

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    It seems like we have varying opinions on what a "bad" teacher looks like. To work a couple of decades and only see 2-3 bad teachers is pretty rare. Keep in mind that, as teachers, you may not always see what admin sees. Some teachers may seem "fine" to you but if you were evaluating them, or having to work with the parents who have children in those classrooms, you may feel completely different.

    The percentages for me look something like this: 35% are exceptional, 40% have the potential to become exceptional, and 25% are not providing a high quality education to children.

    Now, that's not everywhere, mind you. But those figures are roughly what I've seen as an administrator. If a school has 25% of teachers who are ineffective, that's significant.
     
  35. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Wow, one fourth of your teachers are viewed as ineffective? That is a lot!
     
  36. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    I read our contract extra closely this year because of a debate about merit pay going on. Essentially it says that if administration feels like you aren't doing your job and you've gone through all the steps of a PDP and all that the administration can just have you removed from your job. Scary thought but effective. It even said that tenure wouldn't be taken into consideration. But my county also does a LOT to try and help teachers improve first.
     
  37. LouiseB

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    Jun 14, 2010

    I have never done any kind of survey or evaluation of any of the principals in my building. I have never had anyone even ask my opinion of anything along that line. I wish that we had that opportunity but we don't.

    We have tenure in my school and all teachers are evaluated every year at least once which is scheduled. We also are to have walk throughs which I'm not so sure are effective other than the teacher doesn't know the principal is coming. We have a discussion with the administration following the evaluations (we hear NOTHING about the walk throughs) but there really isn't any time to discuss issues or really get to know them or for them to get to know us.

    I really like Sarge's post. I agree that there is no movement without an administrative degree. I really don't want to do that job as I love my job as classroom teacher. Getting more education and pay plus tenure is the only reward we get for a good job (outside of what we see from students).

    What worries me about evaluations of teachers is what the principal is looking at or is it objective. What if the relationship between the principal and teacher is a good one, will the eval always be good? What if the principal doesn't really know the teacher, will that be reflected? We all know that principals really like certain teachers more than others and that's probably due to the fact that they know them better.

    There is no easy answer to any of this.
     
  38. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 14, 2010

    Louise~I worked with a teacher this year who is GREAT!! She really is, but she's old school so her discipline is a little harder than most. She had a couple of problems with parents who thought she was too hard on their 'baby' (7th grade). They went to our P about it and that put her on his bad list, but when he came in to evaluate her, he gave her great marks!
     
  39. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    Jun 14, 2010

    After reading through all of these posts and some connected to the original article, I've been thinking about the role of administrators in tenure.

    If a typical time frame for tenure is three years, it makes me wonder how do bad teachers get tenure in the first place? The answer in this case is administration.

    I was observed once this year and once last year (my first two years in the district). Is that enough to determine anything about my ability as a teacher? I don't think so. I would welcome my administrator to be in my room everyday, but it doesn't happen. My administrator is busy with things other that being in our building, guiding and supporting the teachers. That's a problem - where's the priority for an administrator?

    There is a very bad teacher in my building right now. This teacher has been on improvement plans before and has been transferred to our building from their previous building (because that's going to fix their ability to teach!). This teacher is in a critical position (first grade). Students should be learning to read, but they're not. Last year, all students were marked at grade level for reading at the end of the year. When they entered second grade no one was actually at grade level. If this isn't evidence of poor job performance, I don't know what is. The problem is that my administrator hasn't been collecting the evidence needed to remove this teacher. The other sad thing is that this teacher is drowning and therefore the students are too.

    I am in no way trying to place all responsibility on administrators. I am the teacher in the classroom and I do take responsibility for what happens in my classroom. That being said, there are things that are out of my control. Being evaluated on things out of my control concerns me.

    I think that's what makes me so uneasy. I don't really care about tenure. I know that I am a good teacher and that gives me security. I do worry about how outsiders are going to evaluate me without any knowledge of my actual classroom, just a standardized test score. More importantly, I worry that some feel this is the magic solution to all the problems in our educational system, because it's not.

    Finally, I find it to be very interesting that the role of Race to the Top hasn't really been mentioned much in connection to this issue. In the article it says that this tenure reform basically puts Colorado in the number one position to receive lots and lots of lots of $$$$$$$$$. How sad that this reform is only happening because of a desire for money, not really for improving our educational system. Race to the Top makes me very uneasy as an educator.
     
  40. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

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    Jun 14, 2010

    This new law was driven heavily by the desire to win funding from Race to the Top. Our state lost the first round of funding, so the bill developed in order to get the second round. It is also our Governor's last year in office, so that could have something to do with this law being signed as quickly as it was also.
    The law definitely has CO teachers concerned. The concern isn't being evaluated or not wanting to be held accountable as effective teachers. The concern is that the bill seems to plan to measure growth according to the CSAP's(our state test) The kicker there is that the state standards are being revised and the CSAP is set to be completely overhauled in the next 4 years.
    Student growth can't be measured by test scores alone. And how does that equate for the non testing years? (K, 1, and 2)
    It also seems that the growth shown should be every student achieving at the same level regardless of ability. (I.E. a student in 2nd grade needs to show growth from the second to third grade level even if they come in reading on a kindergarten level.
    I am all for teachers being held accountable. Our students SHOULD show growth. But our students also come to us with a variety of circumstances and at a variety of different levels. I had students start the year with me who had no pre-school experience and knew none of the alphabet or the sounds they made. Did these students show a year of growth when they left me? Yes. However, I was only able to bring them up to the level they should have started at and work a little past that, so they didn't necessarily leave me being on grade level because I only had one school year to work with them. Does that make me a bad teacher?
    Anyway, this is the concern with this law. We stand to lose a lot of wonderful teachers in the urban schools because they work their tails off every day to teach their students, but they aren't going to want to work in these areas if their job is on the line because a student comes to school hungry, without adequate sleep, or after experiencing things children shouldn't experience every day.
    These are the concerns I've heard repeatedly as this law rushed through our state legislature. I feel this bill just moved way to quickly and really wasn't thought out. The only concern was that we get some federal funding that still won't help the budget crisis of most of the schools in our state.
    Anyway, that's the perspective from somebody who actually lives where the law passed.
     
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