Impact evaluations under fire again

The New York Times has a front page piece today on Impact, the controversial teacher evaluation system where teachers can be (and have been) fired for poor performance.

The piece, set in Washington, D.C., mostly focuses on criticisms of Impact, with teachers complaining that:

-The system doesn’t take into account the economic backgrounds of students enough.

-Some classroom observers (who decide on the all-important ratings) are more interested in finding flaws than helping teachers improve.

-Teachers can get have their ratings docked for “trivial” issues.

It was just under a year ago that Impact made the news when more than 160 teachers were laid off in D.C. based on the new system. Professor Aaron Pallas took on Impact at that time, suggesting the calculations were “botched” and stirring up a lot of comments.

Despite the criticisms, 20 states and thousands of districts are studying the Impact system for possible adoption, according to the Times.

POSTED BY ON June 28, 2011