Thursday, February 5, 2009

Method for Teacher Evaluation

On the February "Start a new post," Mark Rauterkus wrote,

Can't find jack about the "Charlotte Danielson Framework" -- a method for the evaluation of teacher. Mr. Roosevelt spoke highly of this at the accountability talk last week. My early research is not fruitful. Anyone?

February 5, 2009 11:57 AM


Anonymous said...

I am sure that Mr.Roosevelt (Hey, I appreciate teahcers, I really do. I gave them scarves) has the idea down pat, Mark. Give him a call. Targeting underlings is no problem. Wanna get rid of someone? He's your boy.

PPSparent said...

Here's a book she wrote -- with a description that...well, it...uh:

PPSparent said...

I googled danielson teacher evaluation and found some stuff. This seems to be a main site and this is the linke that describes, um, the "framework of teaching":

Anonymous said...

Ut oh. I see that the Danielson group are consultants. Does this mean another big fee and more consultants to deal with?

Mark Rauterkus said...


Norman Dale said...

I'm a bit confused, Mark. Why is this being posted? Are you eager to get rid of teachers? Is it your feeling that the superintendent is looking to fire teachers? Do you understand the idea that separates subjectivity and objectivity? When was this presentation made, and to whom? This thread needs a bit more clarity and context. Why is this here? What is your point?

PPSparent said...

Having heard a lot of these over the years, I think that every presentation should be taped and available, indefinitely.

Thank you Mark for taking the time to tape some of these and to the PURE reform people for attending so many meetings and writing them up.

We may not have much of a say at this point, but at least we can keep track of the things they *are* telling us.

Norman Dale said...

OK, PPSParent....I agree. Maybe you care to answer the questions I proposed to Mark.
Why is the post here? (and the other questions)

Mark Rauterkus said...

Why is it here? For the same reason we climb mountains, I guess. No real reason, other than for personal insights.

Last week Mark Roosevelt presented at the "Excellence for All" meeting. I was there. I put it onto my camera and in-turn onto the web in chunks. One chunk was about accountability of teachers. In that section Mr. Roosevelt mentioned a trend to this unknown to me method. It was part of his slides and his presentation. A follow-up question, I think, was even asked about it. I wanted to find out more and leave a pointer to it. After a brief google search I didn't find it. So, I asked for help and more insights / research into this new to PA and Pgh educational concept that gets to the heart of a matter that is valid as we discuss school reform.

Nothing more than insight. That's why.

It is a simple, "what" question -- not why, nor how.

To question the questioner is off topic -- and now to get to those URLs uncovered by the others.

To get a full grip of the segments from the meetings, as well as swim meets, I've attended, visit my blog. I try to tag things as "schools" (scroll down on left side and only see just the school links.


PPSparent said...

Ummm, sure, I'll give it a shot.

Yes, I think Mark Roosevelt is eager to get rid of teachers. It's a hallmark of the Broad foundation based reform practices.

In this video, he rather gives it away by having a slide with "Dismissal" top and center after discussing evaluation in the broadest terms.

I have no idea what the other Mark R. thinks about teachers. I'm guessing he's like most parents and thinks there are a few that should go and others that he'd love to have stay forever.

Do you understand the idea that separates subjectivity and objectivity?

You'd have to give me more to go on here. Are we talking about teacher evaluations? The video? I'm lost.

I would be interested in knowing who the audience for this was -- I'm guessing parents.

I'd say the reason for posting it is because I'd guess that most parents #1 concern educationally is the quality of the child's teacher(s). Knowing how they'll be evaluated (though it's impossible to tell through all this jargon), is something that I know parents have asked the administration about in the past.

PPSparent said...

Look at that! Mark Rauterkus answered for himself far more ably while I was writing away!

Questioner said...

Both answers were informative!

Mark Rauterkus said...

As a joke, it seems to me that within this school reform agenda of Mark Roosevelt that teachers are far more safe than schools and perhaps students. The Rightsizing whacked a lot of schools. Schenley HS got whacked. The choke hold is on now for Peabody, by doing nothing except let rumors of death linger and sustain themselves. Frick Middle School and Rodgers Middle School, the two best middle schools in the district, I dare say, whacked at the end of this school year.

Whacked schools are up for sale -- as a kick-em-when-down double-whack. Want to buy South Vo Tech for $100,000 and flip it into condos (10 x $1M each)?

Teachers have it made in the shade. Schools, not so much.

End cruel joke.

Questioner said...

Not so sure about the made in the shade part. See the Right Sizing Plan p. 27- reductions in teachers and staff 252; and that was only the 2006 RSP for elementary and middle schools.

In the is same right sizing plan it is interesting to see just how little was saved in operating expenses by the RSP- 10M/year, an amount easily eaten away by 3m/yr on debt service for capital improvements, increased transportation costs, and increased costs as students move to charter schools in reaction to the plan.

Anonymous said...

Questioner, many thanks for your dosage of reality. In a long career, I can tell you that at no time have teachers ever been more in the crosshairs than they are now...and without any type of union protection whatsoever.
Mr.Rauterkus should be lauded for filming this presentation and truly, the presentation should be mandatory viewing for every teacher. The superintendent is the man who truly respects teachers.
Sure he does.
"Made in the shade"??? That's pure insanity. It's unfortunate that parents fail to understand that most teachers have real concerns about the direction of this district and how true academic achievement has been shelved in order to get every student to the Pittsburgh Promise Pathway, regardless of whether he puts forth a modicum of academic effort or not.
If parents truly want to blow the whistle on accountability, perhaps the superintendent should explain myriad policy decisions. Perhaps central administrators should speak before you and discuss just exactly what they do. Perhaps third parties should come before you to discuss how often they have been in our schools and classrooms, and how effective their strategies are given the fact that they devise curricula in absentia.
And parent, yes, the subjective/objective query was made with regards to observations. You see, given this presentation and the general theme of Danielson Evaluations, a great many teachers are going to be sent packing if for no other reason, they don't march in lock step to what is being thrown at them by administration. They simply know better. Funny, but it all reminds me of certain types of governments we have seen through the eons.

Mark Rauterkus said...

It was said, "Made in the shade"??? That's pure insanity.

Just to be clear, not insanity. Rather, a JOKE. As a joke, ... then ... end cruel joke.

Guess this whole topic hits a nerve for some, as it should. So, jokes might not be as 'welcomed.' Whacking attempts at humor, humanity and personality is something I'll attempt to work on for my rubic of self evaluation.

Anonymous said...

Maybe PPS will eliminate almost all the teachers in the high schools and we will become like a grocery store's self-service check-out or a self-service gas station. Automated high school reform coming soon to a school near you...

Norman Dale said...

Since I noticed this thread yesterday, I've been contemplating just what kind of mind goes in front of a group of parents to discuss how teachers will be dismissed. I try to get my mind around the reasoning. I agree that Mark Rauterkus should be commended for posting this and I would like to see this same video make the rounds among teachers. You see, this same man who just last week gleefully told teachers how much he appreciated them seems to be plotting the course to also get rid of them.
I would only ask this of the taxpayer: seek the largest area of tax dollar waste. It's not in the classroom. It's in a bloated administration that can run much more efficiently in half of the offices were eliminated. After all, education is supposed to be for the betterment of kids, not to establish some bureaucracy that seeks to justify itself. I would ask any taxpayer to seek true answers to questions surrounding curriculum and grading policies, as posted here. And I wouldn't settle for the PR-ready answers which are being provided. Ask why third parties are making the decisions on curriculum and why they are necessary. Ask if they are doing it for free. Ask why consultant after consultant is being brought into this district--outsiders--without regard to asking those on the front lines what is wrong. Ask if the consultants are doing their shtick for free. Ask about the rationale behind the grading policy. Ask what the connection is to the Pittsburgh Promise. Ask if watering grades down is indicative of academic integrity.

This video is extremely disturbing in that the person who should be made accountable is going to great pains to go on the offensive against those who have a clear view of what is wrong, what to do, and how to right the ship. With regards to our recent gift of scarves from the superintendent, perhaps it is true---beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

fixit said...

In response to Norman Dale's comment:

"I've been contemplating just what kind of mind goes in front of a group of parents to discuss how teachers will be dismissed."

like many of the parents who post here I have attended years worth of parent meetings and have been astounded at how quick parents jump on the teacher bashing bandwagon. Perhaps a mind that has heard complaining reacts with info on dismissals. There are also other parents who express gratitude and praise for the teachers their children have had. Guess which group of parents get their comments most repeated?

Parents may express a desire to be involved in the evaluation process of teachers and principals. Other than the comments they may have on the parent engagement efforts of principals, few parents have the qualifications to have their FEELINGS considered on how an administrator is performing. There are areas where parents have no business or at least very little business.

I have a theory on why parents think they know enough about evaluating teachers and principals to have their FEELINGS considered. I will save it.

Questioner said...

Fixit are you saying that the only principal/ teacher evaluation issue that parents can comment on meaningfully is parent engagement?

Anonymous said...

For a "bad" teacher to get dismissed, he/she has to really DO something bad. The PFT protects the teachers. If they are ineffective in the classroom, they still get several chances to improve. The current system makes it very hard to get rid of a "bad" teacher.

solutionsRus said...

Once again, this thread seems to be lumping all teachers together in one big pot of excellent, hardworking educators of our children. I am 100% behind augmenting teacher supports (ie a small grouping of teachers would have a secretary to free up time for education and decrease time on paperwork). I am all for increasing teachers' salaries as high as 6 figures for the really really important work that they do. I praise the teachers that add to my child's education and growth. But I will not buy into the notion that ANYONE, including this district administration (which I pretty much abhor), is bashing teachers.

Real teacher evaluations have been sorely lacking in this district, resulting in truly deplorable teachers maintaining relatively high paying district jobs (ie the librarian that shows disney movies during class time, the biology teacher THAT KNOWS NO BIOLOGY!) These and many more are examples of why good and fair teacher evaluations are essential if any real reform is going to take place.

The claims that parents are not qualified to rate teacher performance does not match up with real world practices in other service industries. Teachers should be evaluated with a multi-level approach; through peer review, through administrative review and through customer review. Parent/students should not be the only voice in the effectiveness of teachers, but it should be one voice. Following one line of thought in this thread, UPMC should not be using patient evaluations to judge patient satisfaction regarding care...what do patients know about medicine or administrating a large medical complex? The answer is that they know whether the physician treats them with respect, whether he listens effectively, etc. Likewise, parents know whether the teacher is an effective communicator, they know whether their child likes to go to that class or not, they know whether that teacher sends home challenging homework.

Another, even better example, is the fact that college professors are routinely evaluated by their students. It just makes sense. Not only are parents/students the customers, but we pay the salaries!

Let's not get so intent on criticizing everything that the superintendent does (and believe me, he does plenty of things absolutely wrong) that we bury our heads in the sand regarding ineffective teachers that are dragging our students (as well as our good teachers...they get little johnny after he is all revved up coming from a teacher with no control over his/her class) down.

Norman Dale said...

First off, I would say that the most recent anon posting is living in the past. I know of a teacher or two who were not "bad" teachers and were dismissed. Let me say this---you had better follow the curriculum verbatim.
Secondly, the PFT is not what it was. They've signed off on so many issues that had been previously negotiated that you would think they are more of an adjunct department of the PPS. Protection? Surely you jest. This "union" signed off on the 50% policy that cuts the legs from under teachers. This "union" has allowed curricula to emanate from consulting-types of entities that are not in the classroom despite the outcries of its rank and file. This "union" has decided to accept increases in pay that look to be about at the level of cost of living during the past two contracts while in essence re-adjusting its own pay scale and giving teachers who have been in the system under ten years only negligible "raises".
Sometimes one's disdain for unions and teachers colors his viewpoint. Nothing could be further from the truth.
To fixit, I would concur that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Complaints bring these types of ideas.
Here's the problem with parental complaints: how many are real and how many are reflective of the fact that little Johnny didn't get the grade that his parents thought he deserved?

Anonymous said...

I find it hilarious that Roosevelt held this meeting after a morning meeting with teachers that saluted them. Which is it Mark? Is it the politician in you that gives you the ability to say to every group what they want to hear?
solutionsRus fails to address the issue of objectivity in all of this. For every good parent like him or her, I can name 2 that equated little Johnny's grade with how good a teacher is. That's beyond disconcerting, and it is something we constantly see at underachieving schools. The parents would rather crucify the teacher than look at the problem---little Johnny himself. How would you clarify the ratings issue at schools like this?
My problems with administration are quite simple:
where the superintendent is concerned, this is a man who seems to have trepidation about even stepping foot in a classroom. As such, how would he even know what effective teaching is? Would he equate it to the types of student a teacher has and what strides they make? How would he judge a teacher in a school beset with apathy? Can he recognize effectiveness?
Sadly, I doubt it.
Additionally, it's troubling that so many administrative types have the reputations of being failed classroom teachers. As such, one must naturally wonder exactly what they would be judging?
Perhaps PPS would think about bringing in yet another group of consultants to make such decisions. After all, what's one more group of outsiders?
I would like to say the PFT could play a role in all of this--that somehow, a teacher could be an observer too, with the understanding that poor teachers hurt all of us, whether we are talking about reputations or consistency. But you know, I am not sure what PFT types are doing these days other than staying away from being actively involved in teaching.
I don't have the answers, but I am wary of anyone who doesn't walk a mile in our shoes even beginning to determine what is effective and what is not.

Anonymous said...

A running joke among teachers is that if you do something wrong, you get promoted.

fixit said...

So much posted here to talk about that I will have to do it in multiple sessions. I should have been more specific about including parents in evaluations of principals, paras, teachers and administrators, etc. Not too many parents can be objective enough to be completely fair. Sure there are some areas that would be easy to judge, like how long does it take to get a response to an email from a teacher. Or, how long before a teacher provides the graded test back. But, the average parent is not qualified to express an opinion on classroom management techniques for example. Does anyone disagree? Also, keep in mind that the experience a family with mainstream students will be different from a family with a gifted student. Then factor in student attendance and the impact it has to a teacher's success rate. Parental input to evaluations should be limitied and clearly defined.

Parents who are active at the district level and have a great deal of interaction with parents from schools across the district will be more qulified to make comments and participate in evaluations. Perhaps there should be a psychological test administered to certify a parent for the task. I know one of my kids had a teacher in elementary I called the SCREAMER. I volunteered in the buidling and used to listen to her in the hall, waiting for a moment where she would cross a line. And once all the kids from our stop got off the bus and rushed to me to say that my kid had been reamed out in the bus line by the principal. He wanted to do the right thing but she was screeching so badly he could not understand what she was saying. Yeah, I should definitely be disqualified from evaluating those two.

Anonymous said...

fixit, I salute your forthright comment here about parents. I salute the type of parent who visits this site. May I be blunt in saying, what I read here is not representative of the average parent in the comprehensive middle and high schools. I would shudder to think that a teacher's fate lie in that kind of person's decision.
I'm a little taken aback by all of this. It's odd, in a way. There have been education people at the helm in this district. Louise Brennen comes to mind. I believe that while most teachers would agree that bad teachers do a disservice to the profession, you would like to feel that teaching ability is being judged by people who actually know not only what effectiveness entails but also what a teacher is dealing with in a given school.
Roosevelt's acceptance of this kind of model gives one great pause in that regard. How many true educators are left in his administration?