Discussion of teacher performance evaluations following MEA RttT testimony

[Below is a twitter conversation following after MEA President Chris Galgay's testimony to the Maine Legislature's Education Committee on 3/04 in opposition to the Governor's Race to the Top bill that would allow linking student test results to teachers' performance evaluations.]

Brian_Hubbell: Sympathetic to Mr Galgay, but I score him only a 2 out of 5 today. Should have touted other ways to evaluate better than tests. #MEschools 3:06pm, Mar 04

deviger: @Brian_Hubbell Is the issue w/ evals the only reason Galgay did not score 5 of 5? #meschools 4:11pm, Mar 04

Brian_Hubbell: @deviger: Tight needle for Galgay to thread. Most hear MEA only objecting to eval by test. Bolder to fight for better prof devel & admin.

NancyEH: @deviger I worry about statement that "there no evidence tying student scores to teacher effectiveness." #meschools 8:01am, Mar 05

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH Statements like that are meant to belay talk of merit-based pay. Unions exist to protect their lowest common denominator, natch.

Brian_Hubbell: @WmDUKE67 Understand that perception about #MEschools unions, but I'm management and I disagree. Most teachers also don't like deadwood.

NancyEH: @WmDUKE67 I'm an MEA union rep and the statement still worries me. #MEschools

NancyEH: @Brian_Hubbell #Teachers would like opportunity to regulate their own as lawyers and doctors do. I think they'd be tough. #MEschools

WmDUKE67: @Brian_Hubbell I agree. Every teacher I've ever interviewed, every single one, has admitted (off the record) that there is deadwood .

WmDUKE67: @Brian_Hubbell . . . but none seem interested in clearing it out. Seems they'd rather deal than risk their bennies in a systemwide overhaul.

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH Good for you. IMHO, real student progress depends on holding teachers accountable. Tho I think standards should be local, not NCLB

NancyEH: @WmDUKE67 Every profession/job/workplace has its so-called deadwood; it's defining that term in context that's the challenge.

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH In most workplaces, any raise depends on an annual review. Most ME workers don't get a "step" simply for having stuck around.

NancyEH: @WmDUKE67 There's a history around/reasons for the development of salary scales. Too, ask at local #meschools how often admins DO evals.

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH SAD39 union rep once told me teaching like building a car. Can't judge results 'cause don't always get same box of parts . . .

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH My rebuttal: if know what building & how built, should be able to make something that looks more like end product than given parts

NancyEH: @WmDUKE67 Just to know: have you ever been a teacher? If not, try substituting. It may change your views.

Brian_Hubbell: @WmDUKE67 Takes local trust, empowerment, & collaboration to do that merit stuff. In #MEschools I think @NancyEH 's model could work.

WmDUKE67: @Brian_Hubbell I wandered into conversation late I think. Is there a link to @NancyEH model?

Brian_Hubbell: @WmDUKE67: Model: RT @NancyEH: #Teachers would like opportunity to regulate their own as lawyers and doctors do. I think they'd be tough.

WmDUKE67: @Brian_Hubbell @NancyEH Among some sch bd peeps I talk to, beleif exists that, after 2yr prob, almost impossible to oust poor teacher. True?

NancyEH: @WmDUKE67 In my area, #meschools admins often do evals ONLY when they are trying to get rid of someone. That's unfair and we fight it.

Brian_Hubbell: @NancyEH We fire administrators who don't evaluate. Most teachers appreciate it.

NancyEH: @Brian_Hubbell Exactly. Good admins and good #teachers make good #meschools. And there are lots of them!

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH Just reg'd for prints to start subbing. I have interviewed a LOT of really GREAT teachers so, pls understand, I'm not anti-teacher

NancyEH: @WmDUKE67 Good to ask questions. But it's too easy to blame teachers/unions when there are lots of other factors to consider. #meschools

Brian_Hubbell: @WmDUKE67 After 2yrs, takes more time and a plan, yes, but not impossible. Most respond w/improvement or move on. Few want just to resist.

WmDUKE67: @Brian_Hubbell @NancyEH I LOVE idea ann review all teachers. Should inc admin, 2 teach, dept head, sch bd memb, parent & studnt council rep

WmDUKE67: @Brian_Hubbell "most respond of move one." So, you're saying poor teacher becomes other district's problem? Do they gravitate to rural dist?

Brian_Hubbell: @WmDUKE67 Hard to say. Those aren't the ones asking us for references. The money doesn't make it worth it if job satisfaction isn't there.

NancyEH: @WmDUKE67 An annual eval by an admin would be novel in many #meschools. Time for your model is a problem.

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH I agree LOTS of factors. No one easy A. However, I see far too much "non-confrontational bargaining." Lets ask Qs & demand As.

NancyEH: @WmDUKE67 BTW, 1st-graders don't typically have a student council :-)

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH Maybe they should. I mean, we don't teach civics anymore, so maybe direct involvemnt? ;) I think HS council can handle elem reviews

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH Time for evals: Summertime? Three whole months.

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH Another thing, I often hear peeps defend full-yr pay for 9 mos work by saying teachers do much in summer. I say, show that work.

NancyEH: @WmDUKE67 Teachers are contractually paid for 180 (or so) days. Anything beyond that is gratis. #meschools

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH I know- many also contract don't have to be in bldg 'till x min before/after bell. Good place 4 some confrontational bargaining =)

WmDUKE67: @NancyEH Another argmnt I hear against merit pay: Kids who dislike teacher will bomb tests on purpose. Valid? In aggregate, I suspect not.

NancyEH: @WmDUKE67 I doubt elementary kids would intentionally bomb a test. Middle and HS? Some might. That could affect "effectiveness" measure.