There are so many groups with interests in education. From the teachers, their unions to administrators to civic groups and privately funded think tanks. We ALL have a common goal of improving our educational system. We are often working along parallel paths to obtain our goal. Our messages get blurred by each other. Right now perception is that all stakeholder groups spend more time fighting each other than accomplishing anything.
What education needs is less of this infighting and more unity. Stakeholder groups have to find common ground and build coalitions to accomplish our COMMON goal. Ideas that where agreement is found, collaboration is needed to achieve it. Focus needs to be on doing what is BEST for students while being FAIR to teachers. Often one of these is perceived to be compromised for the other.
Teacher evaluations seems to be an area where most can agree. Schools need a clear, transparent and proven evaluation system so teachers can grow and create college and career ready students. Currently here in Michigan the message has become so muddled that the government funded Michigan Council of Educator Effectiveness produced a report backed by most stakeholders. Now this report has been thrown aside for a lesser evaluation system. It is time for stakeholders to unite and DEMAND what is best for students, teachers and administrators, a high quality teacher evaluation system, that provided a state exemplar model and funding to train administrators to use it properly. Without a quality evaluation system our best teachers will leave and districts will be mired in high turnover with much confusion over evaluations.
Join me in using #MIeval hashtag this year to share stories of WHY we need to return to the MCEE report in Michigan.
I feel my district has evaluated me fairly because they have moved toward the MCEE report in anticipation of it becoming law, but I hear many stories of districts living in the dark ages with evaluations. Michigan deserves better! As JFK has said “A raising tide raises all boats” a high quality state evaluation system will raise all student learning!