November 3, 2011

Board of Regents Approves a New Teacher Evaluation System for RI

Carroll Andrew Morse

The Associated Press is reporting that the state Board of Regents has approved a new evaluation system for RI public elementary and secondary school teachers...

Rhode Island teachers who receive poor evaluations for five consecutive years will lose their certification under new rules adopted by state education officials.

Teachers will receive 1 of 4 ratings during annual evaluations: highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective. Any teacher deemed "ineffective" for five years in a row will automatically lose their certification.

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Good catch, Andrew.

"for five consecutive years"

Five years??? And that equates to how many student-years of bad educating?

Posted by: Monique at November 3, 2011 7:46 PM

This is lip service and nothing more. 5 consecutive years is a pathetic joke - there might as well not be any certification removal process. A long-time school administrator in my family has told me that the system is set up so that all teachers do well on their evaluations anyway. They would have to burn the place down to get ineffective even one year.

Posted by: Dan at November 3, 2011 8:20 PM

Restoring the Balance reports provided a specific road map for this change. Unfortunately, RIDE chose to go with a five year window vs. the reports' suggestion to go with 3 or less. Obviously, the 5 year timeline was a result of folding to the unions.

Posted by: Lee at November 4, 2011 10:22 AM

I would think that 3 years would be a reasonable period for decertification, with some kind of review or intervention occuring at the 2 year mark to give the teacher notice and an opportunity to improve. This allows for the possibility that anybody could have an "off year" or even two. 5 years is a ludicrous time period for decertification. That means that for essentially the last 1/4 or 1/5 of a teacher's career, they can have rock bottom performance with no significant consequences to their certification.

Posted by: Dan at November 4, 2011 10:36 AM

Watch Walsh,Crowley,&co.whine about even this minimalist approach.
They care about childrens education about as much as the last Cleveland steamer they dropped.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 4, 2011 11:08 AM

they should re-evaluate their pay and pensions! We should not have one low grade teacher in this state! But we do! Business as usaul in RI

Posted by: robin at November 4, 2011 2:09 PM

This board always has been at its truly unreasonable best when it comes to my much-loved profession of teaching.

My first question was "Wow, short little AP article with no valuable information -- HOW are these ratings determined?"

Principals do it?
Other teachers?
Student evaluation cards (HS students known for being fair when it comes to difficult teachers)?
How about parents, who never get upset when little Jimmy gets a B- and they think he's a precious snowflake?

No, you folks jump on how "easy" this will be for the teachers... I mean, after all, 5 consecutive years of poor performance has never been tolerated in the private sector before.

A few examples off the top of my head that later turned things around:

The Detroit Lions
The New England Patriots

Yeah. So, let's be glad the Patriots didn't lose their license to have a Pro Football team before Brady was discovered eh?

1989-1993 they had losing records, coming in LAST place in the AFC East every one of those years. But that's sports right? Not business.

So Apple stock?
Back in 1999-2000, they had over 5 consecutive quarters of < $10 share prices (with a few spikes above) -- guess they should have lost their license to sell computers, eh?

Come on folks... teachers are professionals just like everyone else. All your dislike for Pat Crowley, the NEA, and the AFT doesn't change that most teachers out there really are trying to make a difference one student at a time.

And because they don't succeed enough for your tastes on an all-or-nothing zero-sum-game scale comparing us with Korea or god knows what else -- we continue to push them down and professionalize them?

Gee ya, that will totally attract the best and the brightest to the profession.

Posted by: jparis at November 5, 2011 9:07 PM

Yeah, I'll double-post here...

Really folks, ~2 days and no one took a single swing at my argument? I know I'm not *that* good.

Seriously wanted an answer as to why teachers should be held to a higher standard than private industry, especially when most of the folks here seem to want education to be privatized anyway.

Furthermore, I wanted to note that folks like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and for that matter Bob Kraft have ALL had some pretty rough periods in their businesses -- but because they are business owners, no one created a policy whereas if they didn't improve in 5 years, they were out.

Posted by: jparis at November 7, 2011 12:50 PM
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