Regardless of how you feel about teacher assessments, changes are coming.  The tide has turned, and now nearly all teachers will be evaluated based on test scores.  Some people are in favor of that and some against.

It may be easy to assess a classroom teacher’s test scores.  There are already measures in place to do so.

But what about teachers of subjects without any standardized tests like those who teach P.E., music, ESL or foreign languages? One city says it is prepared.



How do you assess a P.E. teacher? NYC says through student test scores and observation.
Image: Shutterstock

New York City has adopted a new series of tests designed to grade teachers of specialized subjects.  After tough negotiations between the teachers’ union and the city, it was decided that teachers will be graded upon several different measures.

“Student test scores will make up 20 percent of their rating, while classroom observations will account for 60 percent. Principals and teachers will work together to decide how to evaluate the remaining 20 percent,” according to a New York Times article.

The city says they will figure out how to assess teachers of atypical subjects of which are no uniform tests.  They are also working on assessments for kindergarten, first and second grade teachers.

“It gives New York confidence that our schools will be able to give the kids the education they will need going forward,” Mayor Bloomburg said.

Not everyone is happy though.  Some are worried about the stress that more standardized testing will put on young students.  Others question whether an elementary art teacher really needs to be observed six times per year to determine whether kindergarteners are really “learning art.”

There still seem to be many unanswered questions on this topic.

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