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Teacher Evaluation as Part of a Comprehensive System for Teaching and Learning
By Linda Darling-Hammond
As a major policy focus, teacher evaluation is currently the primary tool promoted to improve teaching quality. But evaluation alone is not enough. What will most transform teaching quality—and the profession—is the creation of a larger system that supports teaching and learning through on-the-job evaluation and professional development, and that ultimately focuses on continuous improvement.
Like many leading businesses, school systems can use a survey-based approach to make teacher voice integral in shaping teacher evaluation and providing the necessary supports.
A local union president shares how his members worked with the school district to create an evaluation system focused on supporting struggling teachers and helping those already strong in their craft continue to improve.
Before teacher evaluation can succeed, we must change the way we think about its main purpose. Those engaged in designing and implementing effective evaluation systems must agree on critical components, such as defining what good teaching is, as well as avoiding common missteps, such as excluding educators from the work.
Minding the Knowledge Gap (PDF)
The Importance of Content in Student Learning
By Daisy Christodoulou
A former teacher in the United Kingdom debunks the myth that teaching facts prevents understanding, and she explains why teaching content knowledge is part of the primary mission of education.
Each year, a three-week summer program in Dallas provides teachers from across grade levels and disciplines the opportunity to study literary classics that reinvigorate their teaching and renew their passion for lifelong learning.
Where We Stand (PDF)
Teaching and Learning over Testing
By Randi Weingarten
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About American Educator
American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 775,000.