Beyond Satisfactory

A New Teacher Evaluation System for New York

January 2011

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Prior to 2010, the simplistic teacher evaluation system in New York CIty did a disservice to us as professionals, since we did not have the supports to develop in the absence of meaningful feedback, and to our students, who deserve the best teachers possible. Within this limited rating system, great teachers went unrecognized, ineffective teachers were largely ignored, and everyone else was left without specific information about how to improve. In 2010, New York passed a law to overhaul the teacher evaluation system before 2013 and this paper outlines our recommendations for implementation.

We recommend that New York adopt a teacher evaluation system with the following breakdowns:

  • 25% for student value-added growth data

  • 15% for other locally selected measures of student achievement

  • 30% for administrator observations

  • 15% for independent outside observations

  • 10% for student surveys

  • 5% for support of the school community

  • With up to 5% demerits for lack of professionalism and/or poor attendance

Proposed evaluation system

About the Teacher Action Team

We are a team of 14 current and former teachers who met for five months to research pilot programs, successful district models and state laws across the country to determine what should and should not be included in a great teacher evaluation system. We looked at a variety of approaches and discussed how these policies would translate into practice in our own classrooms.

Josh Adland Middle School Teacher in Harlem

David Braslow High School Math Teacher in Harlem

Ruben Brosbe 3rd-grade Teacher in the Bronx

Jessica Callahan 1st-grade Teacher in Brooklyn

Victoria Furstenau 6th-grade Humanities Teacher in Brooklyn

Barbara Gsovski Remediation Specialist in Harlem

Michael Loeb Middle School Math, ELA, and Social Studies Teacher to Students With Special Needs in the Bronx

Jonathan Shaw 6th-grade Teacher in the Bronx

Grace Snodgrass 6th-8th grade ELA Teacher in the Bronx

Abby Terrell 6th-grade Special Education Teacher in Manhattan

Sarah Tierney 5th-grade ELA and Social Studies Teacher in the Bronx

Blake Unger Dvorchik 7th-grade Mathematics Teacher and Data Specialist in the Bronx

Craig Wallace High School Mathematics Teacher in Washington, D.C.

Iyesha Williams High School Science Teacher in the Bronx