Friday Open Thread

Wow.  Listen to this less-than-3 minute video of noted teacher evaluation expert, Charlotte Danielson, talk about teacher evaluation.  My favorite line?  "You can't fire your way to Finland."  Should be required viewing for every school district administrator.   Next favorite line? "What can count as evidence and how can that be attributed to an individual teacher?"  She also says, at the end, "No one on the planet has figured out how to do that."  Boom!

Shout out to the Chief Sealth Marching Band who appeared in yesterday's Macy's Holiday Parade.  Good job, kids!

In bad news, apparently, in some parts of the country you can get arrested for picking your kids up at school...on foot.

(And yes, I am going to address the Times' editorial column on parents and schools but that'll be a separate thread.)

To note, there are no Director Community meetings tomorrow.  

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
In other evaluation news... Microsoft does away with stacked ranking.

...."In a widely circulated 2012 article in Vanity Fair, two-time George Polk Award winner Kurt Eichenwald concluded that stacked ranking “effectively crippled Microsoft’s ability to innovate." He writes, “Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees. It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies.”

..."our key elements in the company’s new policy.

More emphasis on teamwork and collaboration.
More emphasis on employee growth and development.
No more use of a Bell curve for evaluating employees.
No more ratings of employees."
Kate Martin said… Montgomery County School District in Maryland is a great model we could emulate. Their Peer Assistance and Review teacher evaluation and professional development is a great system. -Kate
Carolyn Leith said…
Meet newly elected School Board Director Sue Peters this Friday, December 6th at Couth Buzzard Books in Greenwood.

Drop by and say hi, ask questions, or share your ideas of how we can strengthen Seattle's Public Schools.

The event starts at noon. Everyone is welcome.
Anonymous said…
So what makes Danielson an expert?

Was she anointed such by the oligarchs?

My favorite line? "You can't fire your way to Finland." Should be required viewing for every school district administrator. Next favorite line? "What can count as evidence and how can that be attributed to an individual teacher?"

Who determined that Finland was worth emulating and why?

Check out TIMSS math in 2011 (the latest results:

OSPI has a NAEP to TIMSS correlation.

Check out the .pdf on page 14 it shows Class size and Massachusetts is at 14 and WA is at 25.

8th grade scores show:
WA state math test average is 523
and MA is at 561

but Finland is at 514.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
I was researching the GED for an acquaintance of mine, its due to switch to a computer-based format next year and the cost will increase as well. I noticed some references that it will also switch to be aligned to the Common Core.

When you couple it with things such as increased end of course exams in Washington State with little assurances that training and provisions for portfolio of evidence mentoring by teaching staff and lack of guidance by high school counselors and we are further reducing opportunities for our most vulnerable and at-risk populations.

LAUSD has a better FAQ than Washington State OSPI:

Ann D
Anonymous said…
Ann D,

The GED folks have decided to join forces with Pearson. Thus the test has changed and the cost is up significantly. Two other outfits are entering this arena as well so there will be more than one option for high school completion testing.

Follow the money... another fine example of no vendor wanting to be left behind.

-- Dan Dempsey

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