American Educator: Spring 2014

  • Where We Stand

  • Mailbox

  • News in Brief

  • ShareMyLesson

  • When Evaluation Supports a Collective Perspective

     Lynne Formigli, a National Board Certified Teacher in science and a leader in her local union, describes how participating in the alternative evaluation program in the Santa Clara Unified School District helped her reach her goal of improving student writing and learn much more in the process...

  • One Piece of the Whole

    Teacher Evaluation as Part of a Comprehensive System for Teaching and Learning Linda Darling-Hammond

    The United States is at a critical moment in teacher evaluation. The evaluation process is undergoing extensive changes,  some of them quite radical, in nearly every state and district across the country. As we embark on these reforms, it is crucial for schools, teachers, and, especially,...

  • Teaching and Its Spiritual Power

    Louise Cowan

    Though the official authority of teachers has been greatly diminished in the past century, their moral and spiritual authority is indestructible. And by spiritual authority, I'm not referring to anything connected with religion. I mean the ability to testify to the full dimensions of reality, to...

  • A Glimpse into High-Quality Evaluation

     Louisa, a fourth-year science teacher, sits down to discuss her teacher development portfolio with her evaluator. Her portfolio by now contains documentation and analysis of her work from the end of her preservice program through her first three years in the classroom. It also contains...

  • Criteria for an Effective Teacher Evaluation System

    Linda Darling-Hammond
    1. Teacher evaluation should be based on professional teaching standards and should be sophisticated enough to assess teaching quality across the continuum of development, from novice to expert teacher.
    2. Evaluations should include multifaceted evidence of
    3. ...
  • Survey Says

    Using Teacher Feedback to Bolster Evaluation Ross Wiener, Kasia Lundy

    For teacher evaluation to be "done right"—to lead to actual improvement in teacher effectiveness and therefore in student learning—school districts must pay careful attention to designing and implementing evaluation systems. It is understandable that early efforts to make teacher evaluation more...

  • The Professional Educator

    A Fine Balance David Cicarella

    For the past seven years, I have served as president of the New Haven Federation of Teachers. In that time, our union has received national attention for partnering with both the superintendent's office and the mayor's office to improve the New Haven Public Schools.

    Part of that work has...

  • The Mind Shift in Teacher Evaluation

    Where We Stand—and Where We Need to Go Angela Minnici

    The teaching profession today is full of contradictions: Teach the whole child, but focus on specific needs. Integrate 21st-century technology, yet get back to the basics. While often cited as one of the most rewarding professions, teaching is demanding, technically challenging, and more closely...

  • Minding the Knowledge Gap

    The Importance of Content in Student Learning Daisy Christodoulou

    In 2007, I trained as a teacher and started teaching English in a secondary school in Southeast London that enrolls students between the ages of 11 and 18. One of the first things that struck me when I was teaching was that my pupils seemed to know so little. Even the bright and hard-working...

  • Promethean Summer

    Professional Development Boldly Focuses on the Classics Jennifer Dubin

    On July 8, 2013, Keith Black set his alarm for the first time that summer. The high school English teacher in Dallas, Texas, usually liked to spend his break between school years tweaking his lesson plans and reading for pleasure. But for three weeks last July, he had little time for leisure....