The New Jersey Department of Education has released two reports that evaluate the status of the first-year pilot for evaluating teachers. One was prepared by the Evaluation Pilot Advisory Committee and the other by the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education.
Here’s the memo that was sent out to all chief school administrators and charter school leaders.
After the passage of TEACHNJ, the Legislature’s reform of teacher and principal evaluation and tenure law, the DOE selected ten districts to participate in a pilot program for the teacher evaluations. Districts, on a very short time line, selected teacher evaluation rubrics (most chose Charlotte Danielson’s model) and started the time-sucking practice of lengthy, data-driven, teacher evaluations.
Both reports praise the commitment of teacher and administrators as they pioneer a framework for fairly evaluating teachers based largely on student growth. They reference the difficulty of changing a culture where all teachers are deemed above average, and note that this endeavor is, by definition, a long process. Pilot districts have devoted enormous time and resources to extensive professional development, collaboration, and implementation.