New evaluation system rates 6.8 percent ‘highly effective’
According to Gazette, Of Prince George’s County Public School’s 8,768 teachers, 564, or 6.4 percent, were ranked ineffective under the school system’s new teacher evaluation system, according to a state study.
The statewide average was 2.8 percent, and only Dorcester County had a higher percentage of ineffective teachers, at 14.9 percent, according to the study by the Maryland State Department of Education.
At least one in four teachers at 16 Prince George’s schools were rated ineffective, according to the data.
According to the study, 599 PGCPS teachers, or 6.8 percent, were rated as “highly effective,” while the majority, 86.7 percent, were “effective.”
The results include 22 of the state’s 24 school districts. Montgomery and Frederick counties did not participate in the first year, but will participate beginning this year.
“Prince George’s County’s metrics were the most comprehensive, encompassing a number of variables developed by the LEA [Local Education Agency],” said David Volrath, planning and development officer for the Maryland State Department of Education, or MSDE.
William “Bill” Ryan, PGCPS performance and evaluation officer, said the metrics used in Prince George’s County were developed over the past six to seven years.
“Unions, principals, teachers and other administrative staff all had a hand in developing the teacher evaluation model,” Ryan said.
Once the model was developed, the school system, teachers and principals unions and the state had to approve the plan, Ryan said.
Kenneth Haines, president of the Prince George’s County Educators’ Association, the local teacher’s union, described the evaluation as a fairly accurate work-in-progress.
“We would have preferred a longer trial process before implementation, but overall we’re pretty happy with our model,” Haines said, saying the results mirror the findings of the Measurements of Effective Teaching, or MET, a nationwide study performed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013.
Ryan said the metric takes into account a number of factors, including 50 percent professional practice, including planning, preparation and delivery of instruction and student surveys, and 50 percent student growth, including local student assessments and the degree to which Student Learning Objectives, goals the teacher sets for her students, are met, Ryan said.
Data from the Maryland School Assessment, or MSA, and High School Assessment, or HSA, were not used. Counties received a waiver from the state allowing them not to use MSA and HSA results in evaluations for 2013-14, the last year those tests are given. State assessment data will not be included in the metrics until at least 2016-17, as the school system shifts to using the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.
“Highly Effective means the teacher was able to significantly raise the measure of student progress,” Volrath said. “Ineffective teachers were those who were not able to do that … Effective teachers fall somewhere in the middle.”
Ryan said teachers rated ineffective will go through an observation process and provided with additional supports. If that process has already been followed, administrative action, up to and including dismissal, could be taken.
Teaching evaluations can be an effective tool for teachers and administrators who want to identify strengths and weaknesses in the classroom and lead to positive change. Effective teachers will often receive evaluations highlighting their accomplishments and incorporating a few suggestions for strengthening their practice. But when a teacher gets a negative evaluation, it can have a demoralizing effect and even hurt his or her career. Learning how to recover from a poor teaching evaluation can help teachers use the information constructively to get their careers back on track. However, there are a few things one needs to note in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) under corrupt leadership mixed with corrupt unions exhibiting misconduct. These unions do not always represent what is good for the profession and in supporting teachers properly. Nevertheless, that is another topic for another day. We have already said a lot in our blogs including (here), (here) and (here).
It is disappointing that the Gazette did not ask some of the teachers what happened during the evaluation process. It is not too hard to find out if investigative reporting was carried out properly. For example, we received in our blogs that about 25% of the teachers at Tulip Grove were rated highly effective. The Gazette could have investigated further by asking teachers their view on the issues.
Also, the wide disparities between schools begs the question why? For example, why are nearly 1/3 of the teachers at Walker Mill Middle School and Thomas Claggett ES rated ineffective? Are they? What if they were at Benjamin Tasker or Samuel Ogle Middle Schools?
As for all teachers, since one component of the data part of their evaluation was not available, the county decided ALL teachers would receive the score of 60. This is very suspicious given that the current President of PGCEA once worked in the same school at North Western High School when Dr. Kevin Maxwell was a Principal there. In this case, is PGCEA compromised as a result of these ties? What about the role of Mr. Christian Rhodes who used to work for PGCEA as a Uniserv Director and later for MSEA? Does his hiring by Dr. Kevin Maxwell at salary of $138,278 meant to compromise the teacher union and compromise their standing? Why are teachers in PGCPS not questioning this unethical practice meant to derail their futures? If you are being bullied, check ~~> Ideas on how to deal with a Bully Boss especially in PGCPS.
Here are a few points to consider in the midst of the storm for negative evaluations and how to react.
When reading through a negative teaching evaluation for the first time, or leaving a negative conference with an administrator, take time to digest the information and process your emotions. Don’t act rashly by placing an angry call to your teacher’s union (PGCEA) or MSEA because these unions are compromised already and not serving the employees properly. In the same token do not badmouth the administrator who issued the evaluation because he might be used for some other purpose to destroy your career. Calm down and step away from the situation. Think about going for a walk around campus or pausing for a cup of tea or even write to us.
Review the Information
Go through the negative teaching evaluation objectively. Chances are, you missed some positive feedback. Make a list of the categories where you are currently performing well, and the items that have been identified as growth areas in your teaching practice. As you review the negative feedback, identify the topics which you feel genuinely could be opportunities for improvement. Work to improve your performance in these areas and document ways you have met those objectives. For example, your evaluation might state that you don’t communicate with families often enough. Provide a track record of email, in-person or telephone communication with parents to demonstrate that you have worked to improve your performance in this area.
Demonstrate your competency by reaching out to administrators. Invite them to return to the classroom for additional observations — and, perhaps, a follow-up evaluation — where you can better demonstrate your abilities. Identify a potential teaching mentor, ask for support in achieving your teaching targets, and let the administration know that you have taken this proactive step. If you feel your evaluation has been unfair, ask whether you can write a response to the original negative evaluation that can be included in your file. If necessary at this point, contact your teacher’s union (PGCEA) even though they are compromised for documentation if you suspect that the evaluation was a result of personality conflicts or something else outside of your actual performance. They might be able to provide information about filing a formal grievance at this point. This is important because if the grievance system does not work, you can use this information to sue the Union down the road.
Focusing on the positive qualities of your teaching performance can reinforce your self-confidence and remind you why you became a teacher. Take time to appreciate special teaching moments with your students. Other veteran teachers might have had similar experiences. Ask trusted teachers how they have dealt with similar situations and regained their confidence. Stay active, we are in the middle of changing the county and we need your support and feedback too. Our aim is to make sure that, the institutions work for the better and discrimination as a way of life is a thing of the past.
Union corruption around the world has become a major problem for workers and especially in Prince George’s County District in particular where County Executive Mr. Rushern Baker III has turned them into pig banks starting with ASASP Union, PGCEA, MSEA, ACE- AFSCME Local 2250 and others . >>> Read more ~ Big losses for the Labor Unions in Election 2014.