Dennis Walcott, Chancellor of the New York City public schools allowed release of the names of 18,000 teachers along with rating them as good or bad. I have taught 14,000 teachers, have taught high school for ten years and trained thousands of teachers. There are procedures which will reveal the names of incompetent or outstanding teachers, but there is no evidence Mr. Walcott followed these guidelines. What are they?
1. A supervisor can discuss with a teacher their knowledge of what is being taught and how they will teach it.
2. A supervisor can observe a teacher over a two or three day period in order to ascertain if they are teaching in a manner that leads to student learning.
3. A supervisor can examine materials written by students which reveal learning or lack of learning.
However, evaluating on the basis of test scores has too many problems and is biased. For example, I am teaching in a school which has classes for gifted students and you are teaching a class for students with learning problems. Guess which one of us has students who score high on tests?
Teaching is a “long loop occupation.” A car salesman knows by the end of the day or week if he was or was not successful. Alas, such is not the case in education. Sometimes we will never know if our teaching was internalized by a student, sometimes we do. That is why rating teachers must rest with their supervisors, not with test scores.
Let me add that in secondary schools a supervisor must not only know about teaching ability, but must know about the content being taught. I could never evaluate secondary math teachers.