Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Play

Latino groups say Nevada's new political maps have diluted their influence, especially in Las Vegas' Congressional District 1; and strikes that erupted in what became known as "Striketober" aren't over yet.

Play

Presidents Biden and Putin discuss the Ukrainian border in a virtual meeting; Senate reaches an agreement to raise the debt ceiling; and officials testify about closing the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Play

Rural areas are promised more equity from the U.S. Agriculture Secretary while the AgrAbility program offers new help for farmers with disabilities; and Pennsylvanians for abandoned mine reclamation says infrastructure monies are long overdue.

Bill Revamps PA Teacher Evaluations

Play

Wednesday, October 30, 2019   

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Classroom observations could soon play a much bigger role in the way Pennsylvania's public-school teachers' performance is evaluated.

Under legislation now in the General Assembly, classroom observations and practice would account for 70% of teacher evaluations, while standardized test scores will be given much less weight.

According to Rich Askey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, a "challenge multiplier" would be included to factor in the effects of poverty on student achievement.

"Reducing the weight of the standardized test and putting in the challenge multiplier gives a much better view of how the teacher is performing," Askey said.

He predicts that focusing more on classroom observation will encourage educators to collaborate and develop new approaches to their lessons.

Askey pointed out that under the current system, a struggling teacher in an affluent school district may not get the help they need – while a good teacher facing more challenging students in a low-income district may not get the recognition they deserve.

"A teacher could be doing great things in that classroom, but then that school rating pulls them down, and they just cannot get up to a 'distinguished' rating," he said.

He added that right now, it's very difficult for teachers in impoverished school districts to get a 'distinguished' rating. He believes reforming the teacher-evaluation system also will help improve teacher retention, especially in poor and urban school districts.

"They're not as willing to go into those districts, because their evaluation just isn't fair and doesn't look at all the circumstances surrounding them," Askey explained. "So, I see teachers sticking around longer, new teachers getting the help that they need, and general classroom practices improving."

On Monday, the House Education Committee held a public hearing on the legislation, Senate Bill 751 and House Bill 1607.


Disclosure: Pennsylvania State Education Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Early Childhood Education, Education, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
BP's refinery in Whiting, IN covers 1,400 acres in northwestern Indiana, just a few miles from the Chicago loop. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

WHITING, Ind. -- International oil-and-gas producer BP will pay more than $500,000 to the federal government as part of a legal settlement over air …


Social Issues

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Strikes that erupted in what became known as "Striketober" aren't over yet. After a two-day strike in October, health-care …

Social Issues

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Like most of the nation, Wisconsin does not have a statewide paid parental leave policy, but in Milwaukee, a three-month paid …


An estimated 181,000 children and families in Pennsylvania were served through Child Protective Services in 2020, according to a new report. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- With kids stuck at home early in the pandemic, a new report said child-abuse cases decreased in 2020, but children's advocates say …

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS -- With forbearance protections ending during this stage of the pandemic, some struggling homeowners are sorting out their mortgage …

A new report says child-care expenses make up roughly 10% of a family's income in South Dakota. The percentages are much higher for families of color. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- If South Dakota wants to turn out a thriving economy, quality affordable child care needs to be a vital component, according to a …

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In a system plagued by a history of disparities, Ohio's child-welfare workers and children's advocates say it is time to reimagine …

Environment

PITTSBURGH -- Pennsylvanians were overwhelmingly present during three days of virtual public testimony to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) la…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021