As vtorrence described in “One response to Evaluation/Performance Measures,” the Annual Professional Performance Reviews [APPR] evaluations are based on percentages of student performance and teacher observations, and they are changing!
What exactly is changing?
The percentages are generated by how well a teacher scores on a rubric designed to evaluate student growth and teacher practices in the classroom. These percentages have recently been changed (April 2015) from 60% classroom observations to 50% observations. In fact, 20% of the observations would be conducted by the building administrator, and 30% by an outside evaluator. The new APPR is also changing the emphasis on student test scores which were 40% and are being raised to 50% of a teacher’s overall effectiveness score. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/04/03/what-the-thoughtless-n-y-government-just-did-to-teachers/ for more information on the voting in of this new plan.
Ways the changes are being propelled (Through what forces?)
The changes are being forced through the NYS legislature onto school districts. There was the promise of more funding being made available by the state if the bills were passed. This put many individuals from low-income areas in a bind. They wanted to support their educators by voting down the bill, but at the same time knew that their districts really needed the extra funding.
Things that need to be changed.
If anything needs to be changed, it is the incessant emphasis on collecting data and evidence. I believe those two practices are beneficial. However, unless we are devoting the right amount of time to analysis of the data, and implementation of remedial efforts to fix what was found in the data, we are just creating a lot of documents. When is the last time that creating data documents was the best part of a student-teacher relationship?
DELIBERATE changes that can be triggered by leaders:
With these new APPR changes in place, effective leaders will work to inform their staff of the changes and off the evaluation rubric that graphs student performance against teacher performance in observations.