Apply their learning challenges and enhance their academic

Apply Your Skills: Case for Critical Analysis

Introduction

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In any organization, managers have a significant role to play in controlling performance and quality. They employ different systems, techniques, models, and approaches when analyzing performance. For instance, the department of state education started a rigorous hunt for an innovative system to gauge the teacher’s accountability level as a way of complying with the legislators’ demands (Shinkfield & Stufflebeam, 2012). In this case study, the revamped teacher evaluation method includes the five stars grading system being utilized by the master teachers and school principals to provide feedback on teachers’ performance (Daft & Marcic, 2016). The goal of this evaluation tool is to hold teachers accountable regarding their students’ learning progression. In this system, thirty percent of every educator’s accountability mark would be founded on student test score gains, thirty percent on the master teacher’s observation, and forty percent on the principal’s observation (Daft & Marcic, 2016).

The feedback system has some positive aspects: for instance, the evaluation is done in three ways, and if a teacher performs dismally in one of them, he or she still has a chance to redeem him or herself in the other. The evaluation system also enhances the teachers’ commitment to their work since they would want to avoid registering lower scores. As a consequence, the quality of education in public schools improves significantly. The teachers also get to make improvements in areas where they underperform. However, when the three cousins, Josephine (Joey) Parks, Tish Hoover, and Jeri Lynn DeBose, who are public school teachers, are discussing and comparing scores in the mid-year teacher evaluations, they underscore the flaws and biases in the system. The highlighted flaws make the reliability of this performance evaluation tool questionable. As such, school districts should design evaluation techniques, which assists students to overcome their learning challenges and enhance their academic performance.

Analysis

One problem.

The major issue with this evaluation tool relates to its subjectivity in the sense that the master teachers and principals may easily base their observations on personal factors, hence providing findings that are not an accurate representation of the teachers’ performance. For instance, teachers in the rural areas are likely to suffer misrepresentation since the principal has a longstanding relationship with each of them (Daft & Marcic, 2016). Furthermore, this evaluation tool fails to put into consideration many underlying factors that affect how the teachers perform, including the demographics of the students that they teach

Reasons for one problem.

In the case study, the three teachers have different experiences in their line of duty since the students come from diverse family and educational backgrounds. While Joey teaches in a community with high rates of unemployment and the students rarely proceed to college, Jeri Lynn’s students are from low-income families and use English as their second language, and students in Tish’s school come from high-income families (Daft & Marcic, 2016). The teachers handle students on extreme ends, and evaluating them using the same tool introduces inevitable biases and flaws (DeRosa & Lepsinger, 2010, p. 25). Furthermore, the teachers give their students standardized tests and are ranked using the same criterion, their personal and educational backgrounds notwithstanding.

The teachers agree that the system is both inaccurate and unfair. Several underlying factors influence the evaluations. One of them is the personal history between parents and principals, like in Joey’s case. Another factor is that some principals and master teachers fake the number of their assessments to reduce their workload (Daft & Marcic, 2016). Furthermore, providing a standardized test is unfair because students have unique learning abilities and the grading system may not capture their intellectual capabilities accurately. Some learners, like those from the low socioeconomic background or those experiencing language barriers, require extra help to overcome their challenges (Daft & Marcic, 2016). Moreover, principals would mostly incline towards aligning the score with the state’s expectations. As such, they would compromise evaluations and, hence, affect the feedback control system negatively.

It should be noted that no grading and reporting method is sufficient and comprehensive. Grading primarily offers incentives for self-evaluation but fails to communicate an individual’s performance excellently (Darling-Hammond, 2010). Furthermore, research indicates that the grading system is largely flawed, but it is also difficult to document the learner’s progress using comprehensive techniques. Combining all the factors suggests that the current teacher evaluation needs to be improved because it provides little connection with the quality of instruction and student achievement growth.   

Solutions

Possible solutions.

Several alternative performance evaluation methods on the teachers can be considered. The primary objective of teacher evaluation systems is to enhance the instruction quality by clarifying the expectations of effective teaching and assisting the teacher in meeting those expectations through support and high-quality feedback (Darling-Hammond, 2010). Some of these evaluation systems are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Best recommended solution.

This technique enables teachers to receive direct and meaningful feedback about their practice. Classroom observations also inform the practical materials that the teacher may use to enhance their performance (Darling-Hammond, 2010). However, observers may struggle when assessing more than one indicator at once. They may also be unable to provide content- or grade-specific feedback to the teachers (Shinkfield & Stufflebeam, 2012). Furthermore, in states or districts where principals are the observers, they may lack the skills or time to conduct the observations and give all teachers high-quality feedback.     

Implementation plan.

Using the standardized test score as the only indicator of student learning and growth is ill-conceived. As such, other forms of data and evidence include assessment of self-efficacy, critical thinking, active engagement, or a combination of the three; administering summative and formative student assessment; and teachers generating information about the learners’ goals and growth (National Education Association, 2010). Other approaches that can be implemented include providing local and district-wide achievement tests, student work indicating growth, project-based inquiry activities, the teacher and principals developing learning goals, learners’ written and oral presentations, and subject-matter assessments (National Education Association, 2010).

The teachers’ effectiveness may also be determined by evaluating their practice based on the general practice standards through teacher-evaluator conferences, administrator evaluations, or classroom observations (National Education Association, 2010). Instructional artifacts, conference presentations, evidence binders, and portfolios may be used to highlight the demonstrated attainment and utilization of new skills and knowledge (Shinkfield & Stufflebeam, 2012). Information provided through professional learning communities, peer reviews, the formative assessment, and other forms of feedback and support might also be used

Application

Teacher evaluation systems should work as intended and provide teachers with appropriate information about their practice. However, as determined in the case study, not all evaluation tools are as useful. The method is primary, undifferentiated, one-dimensional, arbitrary, somewhat unaligned with professional development opportunities for improvement, and disconnected from the learner’s needs (DeRosa & Lepsinger, 2010, p. 25). It presents many biases, especially considering that it is subjective and personal factors interfere with the quality of the assessment. As such, a multidimensional, differentiated, rigorous, and objective system supportive of teacher improvement and linked to student learning could be more efficient. The comprehensive teacher evaluation systems entail implementing multiple indicators of learning and growth as well as various measures of teachers’ effectiveness. With this method, all nuances and complexity of teaching will be captured, thereby minimizing the biases and flaws recorded in the current evaluation system.