AFT's Weingarten: "Policy must address what is actually happening on the ground, in classrooms."
WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the National Council on Teacher Quality's report, "State of the States 2013—Connect the Dots: Using Evaluations of Teacher Effectiveness to Inform Policy and Practice."
"Like the AFT, the National Council on Teacher Quality believes that for the Common Core State Standards to succeed, they need to be implemented properly, with alignment throughout the system, including teacher evaluations. But the AFT also believes that high-stakes consequences of student assessments should wait until the rollout of the standards is complete and successful. We agree with NCTQ that special education teachers need special attention in their evaluations to ensure that all relevant measures are considered.
"There's a real disconnect between what the 'powers that be' want to dictate or proclaim as success, and what classroom teachers and students actually need to be successful. This dissonance is surreal, and it's why teachers and parents don't trust policymakers. To really connect the dots between teaching quality and student performance, we must provide teachers with the support and resources they need to improve their instruction and meet the needs of all kids. Policy must address what is actually happening on the ground, in classrooms.
"This report shows that teacher evaluation systems in 35 states and the District of Columbia are driven by tests, requiring that student achievement results be a significant, or even the most significant, factor in teacher evaluations. Yet only 20 states and the District of Columbia require that teacher evaluation results be used to inform and shape professional development for all teachers. We have to stop test-centric evaluations and build systems that will actually improve teaching and learning."