Districts face roadblocks in developing teacher evaluations

School districts around the country are facing obstacles as they attempt to finalize new teacher evaluation systems in time for the 2013-14 school year. At least 30 states have passed laws requiring new evaluation systems, but many cities are experiencing pushback from teachers and unions, particularly on requirements to include student test scores as a part of a teacher’s rating.

New York City teachers recently balked at a proposal to include student test data in the evaluations. The teachers union and city officials failed to meet a state mandated deadline to reach an agreement, which could cost the city up to $450 million in state funding. Other districts in New York received approval for their plans with just hours to spare.

A proposed bill in Connecticut would delay the start of a new statewide teacher evaluation program from 2013 to 2014 due to educator concerns about funding and implementation. And Hawaii has been warned by the U.S. Department of Education that it may lose the federal funding it won in the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative if it fails to secure a teacher contract that links teacher evaluation to personnel decisions. Although the Hawaii Board of Education has mandated the use of new evaluations, contract negotiations are ongoing in the state.

In other places, however, compromises have been made. Earlier this month, the United Teachers Union of Los Angeles voted in favor of an evaluation system that will rely on raw state test scores and district assessments.

The union had strongly opposed the use of the controversial “value-added” system which uses a complex formula to calculate student growth on standardized tests. Critics have questioned the validity of value-added and warned against using it for high-stakes decisions. The district has yet to determine what percentage of the evaluation will be based on student test scores.

Union president Warren Fletcher praised the agreement. “We worked hard at the bargaining table to craft a system that intelligently uses student data in the evaluation of teachers,” he said in a statement.

New Jersey has also been moving forward with new evaluations. The state launched a pilot program this year in preparation for mandatory statewide implementation of a new system in the 2013-2014 school year. The law had required districts to report their final evaluation systems to the education department by Jan. 1, but the administration extended the deadline to Feb. 15.

POSTED BY ON January 28, 2013

Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Post a Comment

Arnold Ruff

If you allow unions to dictate teacher evaluation, not the parents and school districts, you will fail your children! “Trigger Law” leads to Charter schools and giving your children a fighting chance to gain freedom of choice for tomorrow. Stop unions and bureaucrats from control of our youth, “We the People” must accept the responsibility to educate our children!


When you have parents who don’t do a stitch of work at home with their kids, when they take their child out of school for 2 months to visit their country, or just a week to go to Disney, or even skiing, a teacher should be evaluated on this ?? What a joke? Many, not all parents, do not work with their kids at home. They check nothing, they read nothing. Arnold Ruff, you are an idiot and have no idea the daily goings on in a classroom. So shut your face.

Justin Tymne

School districts already evaluate teachers during the hiring process. Parents already evaluate the teachers that the school districts hire through the voting for school board/district members.

It takes an enormous amount of training to standards already set/upgraded by the states, which teachers pay to take in college Education course work.

Some links to sources that help explain requirements to become teachers
What steps do I need to take in order to become a teacher?


Earning a Teaching Certification


“Elementary, middle and secondary teachers must complete a teacher training program and obtain a license before teaching in a U.S. public school. Teachers must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, but many hold a master’s degree or higher. Teacher education programs typically include subject area coursework, teaching theory classes and an internship.”

Teacher Quality in a Changing Policy Landscape:
Improvements in the Teacher Pool

Most of “we the people” who have not gone through the teacher training process have not much of a clue as to the depth of training requirements. “We the people,” perhaps at the whim of radio talk show hosts, tend to become dismissive of teachers’ need to be represented so that responsibility to educate our children can be applied.

Your email is never published nor shared.