HARRISBURG — When Pennsylvania’s state budget was approved on the last day of June, an additional bill was signed into law that will, for the first time in more than 40 years, dramatically alter the methods for evaluating teachers.
Currently, teachers are annually evaluated predominantly on classroom observation and receive a score of either pass or fail, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education website. Historically, more than 95 percent of teachers receive a rating of “pass” and districts are not required to provide feedback to those teachers, although some districts do.
Under the new system, which will be put in place for the 2013-14 school year, teachers will be designated as either distinguished, proficient, needs improvement, or failing and will receive recommendations on improvement, regardless of designation. Additionally, “distinguished” and “proficient” are both considered acceptable and “needs improvement” and “failing” are considered unacceptable and teachers that receive an unacceptable rating will be placed on a “performance improvement plan” to aid in improvement.
Click here to read the full article published in the Times Herald (July 22,2012)