Teacher evaluation is a hot topic right now. How do we evaluate teachers? What are
the characteristics of a good teacher? How do we define success in the classroom (test scores?)? The topic is criss-crossing the nation, as teachers’ unions are being hit hard with the allegation that tenure protects bad teachers.
The State of California Stull process, as it is called, is the evaluation tool used by administrators in public schools. Here’s how it works, and keep in mind, this is from my experience. I’ve only worked at one school–but for eleven years, under five (yes, five) different principals and close to forty total (yes, forty) different administrators over those years. A Stull visit is scheduled every other year (every year if you’re probationary) and teachers are each “evaluated” or watched for up to a half-hour. Then there’s a conference and forms are signed. Teachers are told about areas in which they need to improve, and (hopefully) about their strengths.
I (and many others interested in education reform) believe the process is inadequate, for many reasons–mainly, there isn’t a true, codified remedy to help teachers in need of improvement. Administrators are overloaded these days. Some coaches are teaching classes (if your school is lucky enough to have them). Department chairs are busy with their large classes. Colleagues have their own issues. This leaves many teachers in need with nowhere to turn.
I move forward with plans for a pilot school within LAUSD, as part of their Public School Choice (PSC) program, I intend to (more…)