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Teacher Evaluation

The Charge and the Challenges

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Edited By Kate O'Hara

The evaluation of teachers is at the forefront of national discussion, with the divide on the topic growing increasingly deeper. Teachers are under attack, in a war waged from the top down, complete with private entities, standardization, and a limited view of what it means to be «good» or «effective». In both teacher preparation programs and in our public schools, teachers entering the profession and practicing in classrooms face evaluation measures that are biased, unreliable, and reliant upon quantitative outcomes. Teacher Evaluation: The Charge and the Challenges aims to «talk back» to the national rhetoric about teacher evaluation and accountability measures, with a call for all educators, policy makers, activists, scholars, and reformers to engage in critical dialogue and democratic practices.
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Chapter 6. Crash [dis-]Course: a Critical View of Teaching, Testing, and the Times

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In March 2010, the Obama Administration proposed revisions to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB; No Child Left Behind Act of 2001), called “A Blueprint for Reform” (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). A major part of this blueprint was a focus on universal standards for language and mathematics education and college-readiness programs. From this legislative push, a renewed interest emerged in the work done at the state level, with the nation’s governors and education officials in the development of what have come to be called the Common Core State Standards (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010). However, the Common Core State Standards were actually written

…under the aegis of several D.C.-based organizations: the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve. The development process was led behind closed doors by a small organization called Student Achievement Partners, which David Coleman headed. The writing group of 27 contained few educators, but a significant number of representatives of the testing industry. (Ravitch, 2014, para. 15) ← 107 | 108 →

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were designed to balance our education system. Developed as a potential means for creating a universal standard of basic education in the United States, the CCSS provide literacy and numeracy skill minimums for teachers to use when developing educational programs for children, thus creating the standard for “high quality education.” To date, 45...

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