This whole teacher evaluation system and the "idea" that it is going to make better teachers is such a load of BS. It makes me sick when I think about all the people that went into teaching to help children and now will spend all their time watching their backs to make sure they keep their jobs.
Evaluations like these do nothing to help a teacher become better. These evaluations and observations do nothing to help. All they do is emphasize what is not being done in some meaningless rubic.
If the state really cares about creating more effective teachers, they need to start with effective leaders. When I first started teaching, my AP was a real nasty bitch but she did what the APs today cannot do--she knew how to teach and she knew how to teach teachers how to teach. I started in that school at 20 years old, straight out of college. I took a full series of math education courses, including student teaching at CCNY under the tutelage of Professor Posamentier, one of the all time great math educators. But, nothing prepared me for being the sole person in a room full of 34 needy kids. This AP observed three times a semester, always unannounced. She stayed from bell to bell and wrote detailed notes on everything that transpired in the lesson. The day after, we met and went over her findings. While the meetings were not always comfortable for me, they were productive. I learned classroom management, questioning skills, methodology and content. This AP was ruthless. In spite of her harsh demeanor, she loved the kids and would not tolerate a teacher who she did not feel was any good and she went after those with a vengeance. I can honestly say our school, one of the first schools in the city to be closed down, had one of the best math staffs in the city. Everyone went on to better schools, better because of location, parking and level of students. Several became administrators, one a principal. Everyone ended their careers teaching advanced classes and helping young teachers learn the ropes. This AP did it all without a meaningless evaluation system.
Today's administrators have barely gotten their toes wet in the classroom. Many are not experts in the field they are in charge of and teachers have no where to go with questions. A special education AP I know taught math for several years before taking the job. What can she possibly know about effective teaching in this field when she has almost no experience teaching it? We had a math chairperson several years ago who could barely pass algebra. When he observed my calculus class, a boy said, "that guy doesn't know much, does he?"
The media and everyone else ought to open their eyes and see these evaluations for what they really are, the thing an AP recently told her department at a conference--an easy way to get rid of teachers.