I recently read in the Washington Post that 28 states now require annual teacher evaluations, and 41 states require student achievement measures as part of teacher evaluations. Another real statistic that exists is the unfortunate reality that hundreds of teachers have been fired for poor performance based on inappropriate and unfair evaluation practices.
I anticipate that many dance teachers are finding themselves in the throes of this injustice facing education today. Eighty percent of teachers undergoing evaluation teach disciplines that are untested. That is both good and bad. It is good because many teacher evaluation systems depends on student test scores, but bad because with the absence of test scores, some districts end up inventing their own way of evaluating that population. With a discipline like dance, it proves to be even more difficult due to administrators’ lack of knowledge about the arts and especially, dance.
We all want effective teachers! How do we turn the fear of the teacher evaluation process around to become an opportunity for the teacher to learn and grow professionally? How can we as a unified body take action in transforming the teacher evaluation system?
On May 16-18, NDEO in collaboration with the Arizona Dance Education Organization (AzDEO), California Dance Education Association (CDEA), and Utah Dance Education Organization (UDEO) will be holding a K-12 Teacher Evaluation conference in Albuquerque, NM. Come to this special topic conference on teacher evaluation and lend your voice! This is an opportunity to take action as a unified body to work to inform the teacher evaluation system. From this conference we will:
- Draft a position paper for NDEO on defining appropriate teacher evaluation practices for dance education;
- Create a strategies document that will provide ideas on how to guide administrators on what to look for when evaluating dance education (i.e. What should administrators look for when observing classes?);
- Identify a list of multiple measures that fairly assess teacher effectiveness in dance;
- Collect information on effective practices and evaluation systems in other states and districts.
With this you will be armed with material to justify suggested changes in the system.
DONT BE PASSIVE! TAKE ACTION! BE PART OF THE SOLUTION! ATTEND THE TEACHER EVALUATION CONFERENCE May 16-18 in Albuquerque. To register, click here.