In Nashua, a new era for teacher evaluation
Superintendent Mark Conrad and Nashua High School South art teacher Robin Peringer met with the Board of Education’s Human Resources Committee on Wednesday to report on an ongoing teacher evaluation pilot program involving 50 teachers. While more detailed evaluations that include student test scores and other assessments are required for schools districts that received federal school funding, Conrad said the new evaluations are more about helping teachers become better educators.
But with the new system now being developed, principals and other evaluators will make six short unannounced visits to classrooms to observe teachers. And rather than recording their ideas and impressions, evaluators will use a rubric that defines standards and performance levels. Teachers will receive a numerical score — 1, 2, 3 or 4 — for every three-year evaluation period.
Conrad said Nashua schools have very few teachers who would score at the low end.
The rubric, which is similar to a scorecard, will allow evaluators to rate teachers on specific areas of job performance, such as classroom management and lesson plans. BOE members felt it provided a clear sense of expectations.
BOE member Kimberly Muise questioned the amount of time involved and whether principals and assistant principals will have enough time to visit each classroom six times.
Training for evaluators will also be part of the new system.
Conrad said most people don’t realize that teachers are the toughest critics on themselves.
“You want teachers to take responsibility for their own growth,’ she said.
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