LANSING (WWJ/AP) – About 97 percent of Michigan’s 96,000 teachers were rated effective or highly effective during the 2011-12 school year, including many who taught at some of the state’s worst-performing schools, according to new state data.
In the first year districts were required to assign one of four ratings to teachers – highly effective, effective, minimally effective or ineffective – 48 of 146 of the state’s schools ranked in the bottom five percent academically rated all of their teachers in the top two categories, the Detroit Free Press reported. Several of these so-called priority schools rated all of their teachers as highly effective.
State data also show, however, that more teachers in those priority schools were rated in the bottom categories than other schools.
The data isn’t surprising given that it was the first year districts had to report the effectiveness ratings, said Jan Ellis, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Education. The ratings will likely change, Ellis said, “once there’s a more common system and a common measurement.”
The Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness is working to develop a statewide system for evaluating educators, as well as guidelines for districts that opt to develop their own system. Because few teachers were rated ineffective, observers say, the council’s work will be crucial for the state.
“Districts need a lot of support and assistance in how to move forward,” said Sandi Jacobs, vice president and managing director of state policy for the National Council on Teacher Quality.
Meanwhile, a new report by Education Trust-Midwest that analyzed the evaluation systems in 28 school districts found few of the systems met a set of standards they say research indicates are necessary for a strong system. Those standards would include annual observations, for example.
“All of them fell short on at least one component. Many fell short on all of them,” said Drew Jacobs, a data and policy analyst for Education Trust-Midwest, a Royal Oak-based education policy and research organization.
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