Dear Commons Community,
A NY Times editorial is praising New Haven’s new teacher improvement plan. Political leaders and teachers’ union took a bold step last year in agreeing to a new teacher evaluation system that aims to reward excellent teaching and to retrain or remove poor performers. The first year’s promising results show what can be done when the two sides commit to reform. Perhaps the most important comment was:
“New Haven’s path demonstrates that it is possible to hold teachers accountable without crushing morale and wrongfully dismissing good teachers.”
In the first year of the new evaluation system, of the 1,846 teachers rated, 75 were notified early in the 2010 school year that they were in danger of being terminated. Of those, 34 resigned or retired without contesting their final evaluations. Fifteen teachers, considered borderline cases, were given more time to improve and allowed to keep their jobs.
New Haven appears to be providing a plan for other urban districts considering new teacher evaluation systems and one that has been implemented without the rancor and teacher bashing that have characterized similar attempts in other large cities.