(July 18) Pennsylvania rolling out new teacher, principal evaluation system

School may be out for summer, but across Pennsylvania districts are gearing up for a new teacher evaluation system that takes student performance into account.

This fall begins a three-year roll out of the system, which was passed into law in 2012. Principals and specialists will be subject to the evaluations in 2014-15.

The new evaluation system replaces one that only labeled teachers as satisfactory or unsatisfactory based on classroom observation. Former state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis blasted that system, noting that in 2009-10 almost 100 percent of teachers and principals ranked satisfactory.

As a former teacher and schools superintendent, Pennsylvania Department of Education Deputy Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq said she knows educators, in most cases, weren’t giving each other constructive evaluations.

“We want to make sure we are giving feedback to teachers to help them grow,” she said. “We know the most important thing to increase student achievement in the classroom is the teacher.”

The department has spent the past three years piloting the new system with 300 of the state’s 500 school districts, Dumaresq said.

Find the full article, here: Pennsylvania rolling out new teacher, principal evaluation system Sara Satullo, The Express-Times, 7/14/13

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