EdWeek has four writers reflecting on the Chicago Teachers Union strike. I couldn’t read the first piece, from Ohio lawmaker Stephen Dyer, without thinking of South Dakota’s HB1234, now Referred Law 16.
I wonder where we’d be today with teacher compensation and evaluation reform had teachers been among those assembling the plans.
In 2009, Ohio took a different approach. We gave teachers a broad framework in which to develop a new evaluation system, but it was the teachers who developed the details. The plan they drew up even allowed for test scores to count for up to 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation.
Many teachers, and even their unions, have bought into the idea that test scores should count for something, just not everything. And this brings me back to the mistakes many well-meaning reformers make: moving too fast, too unilaterally, and too confidently.
If reformers listen to teachers and seriously include them in the discussion over the changes in their profession, they can become the reformers’ greatest allies.