October 23, 2020

An unexpected group questions teacher ratings this year

Author: Sylvia Saunders
Source:  NYSUT Communications
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framework for remote teaching
Caption: A new report from the Danielson Group offers recommendations for supporting remote learning during the 2020-21 school year that prioritize educator and student wellbeing, equity, and racial justice; the report also suggests that this is not the year to be focusing on teacher ratings.

With the pandemic upending every aspect of education, one of the pioneers of a nationally known teacher evaluation system suggests that this is not the year to be focusing on teacher ratings.

“Teachers need support, not scores,” says The Danielson Group, explaining why its remote teaching guide includes no teacher evaluation rubric. “Now is not the time to be thinking about how to evaluate teacher performance in a new and fluid context. This moment compels us to pause and engage in a thoughtful reset on our approaches to teacher support.”

While the union and many educators have voiced similar concerns, this is an unexpected move from The (Charlotte) Danielson Group, whose four-level "Framework for Teaching" evaluation rubric is used or serves as a model for many school districts across the country.

“The school year ahead will be like no other before it and, we hope, like no other after it,” the Framework for Remote Teaching guide’s introduction says. “Having recently managed the greatest and most ubiquitous crisis our education systems have confronted in our lifetimes, our teachers now face incredible uncertainty and rapidly evolving and changing understandings of what their lives and work will be like throughout the 2020-21 school year.”

At this month’s meeting of the Board of Regents, SED acknowledged that many school districts are concerned because they use state assessments to measure the student performance category for APPR teacher evaluations. The board has not yet decided whether state assessments will be held this year but have made it clear that if any tests are administered, they must be in person in school buildings.

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