National Journal takes on the subject of teacher evaluation.  There is some consensus in the reform community that at least half of a teacher’s evaluation should be based on performance data.  In most places, that data is getting better fast so it’s important that system and evaluation language remain flexible.  Here’s my response:

Teachers rightly worry about using a single source of data to judge performance but we’ll soon have a vast array of content-embedded assessment as well as teacher-scored assessment that we’ll be able to consider when judging student growth and teacher performance. That’s why I’m a fan of Terry Grier’s approach in Houston which seeks to use “all available information” when making performance judgements. We’ll need to build flexible frameworks that year after year incorporate new data elements into increasingly more well rounded pictures of performance.

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.



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