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Teacher Evaluation

The Charge and the Challenges


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 9. Aligning Multidimensional Teacher Evaluation with Professional Development Centered on English Language Learners


From the perspective of a long-standing, comprehensive teacher professional development program focused on apprenticing teachers in developing expertise over time, we critique existing teacher evaluation systems in terms of both content and process. In terms of content, we assert that existing definitions of “effective” teachers and student outcomes are narrow and misleading. In terms of process, we argue that teacher evaluation embodies and perpetuates inequitable, hierarchical power relations while providing insufficient supports for sustained and generative teacher growth. We examine three cases: federal policies concerning teacher evaluation, a specific evaluation system used widely in Texas, and an alternative system that we are developing with a specific school in Texas.

In this chapter, we explore a model of teacher expertise that is organized into six interconnected domains. These domains are vision, motivation, reflection, knowledge, practice, and context (Walqui, 2008). For each domain, we critique federal and state policies and teacher evaluation systems and suggest alternatives. Vision refers not just to beliefs about the nature of teaching and of students as capable individuals but also to images of students’ potential futures. Motivation refers to the reasons and emotions that teachers bring to the work of teaching and incentives for ← 159 | 160 → their continued engagement and growth. Reflection in its multiple forms allows teachers to reason about the past, adapt in the present, and plan for the future. In terms of knowledge, although many forms of knowledge are relevant, we analyze what counts as forms of pedagogical knowledge in regard to...

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