Sacramento looks to teachers for help with evaluation model
California’s Sacramento City school district and the teachers association announced last week a tentative agreement to develop a model for teacher evaluations. This announcement marks a turning point between the school district and Teachers Association who have had a strained relationship since the district placed a bid to link student scores to teacher evaluations as part of the federal waiver.
The school district was one of eight to receive a waiver under the California Office to Reform education plan. It quit in early April when the teachers association protested the use of student test scores as a way to measure the quality of teachers.
Superintendent Sara Noguchi explains that the district and the association will both build committees by this September with the intent of creating a process for evaluations by January so it can be a component of the bargaining process. It is likely student data will continue to play some role.
Noguchi tells us, “I know there’s a place for student data. We haven’t had the conversation with teachers yet. We need to work collaboratively with our teachers.”
Last month, the district announced that it would abandon its plan to work with the other school districts in California on the waiver from No Child Left Behind. This law requires that all students reach a “proficient” level on state tests by this school year.
California’s 2012 bid for a waiver from No Child Left Behind was rejected when the state refused to link teacher evaluations to student test scores.
I believe that it is essential that the school district and teachers work together to develop the best model for teacher evaluations. Leaders like Superintendent Noguchi who realize the importance of allowing teachers to have a say in these decisions can help keep high quality teachers in our schools.