Frustrated and baffled are just two of the words Deborah Loewenberg Ball uses to describe her reaction to dramatic changes made recently to teacher evaluation reform legislation in Michigan.
Ball, dean of the University of Michigan School of Education, was chair of a blue-ribbon commission appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature in 2011. The Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness was asked to recommend ways to make teacher evaluation more meaningful in Michigan, while holding teachers more accountable for student performance.
In a blunt interview, Ball said Michigan should be embarrassed by the current version of teacher evaluation legislation now being debated in the Michigan Legislature. While Ball’s group recommended minimum state standards for evaluating teachers’ performance, the current bill would allow local school districts to continue to set their own standards for rating and training teachers. If enacted, she said, our children will pay the price.
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