Tougher teacher evaluation system prompts schools to ban student teachers

Williamson County Schools spokeswoman Carol Birdsong said schools can’t risk interference for teachers when 35 percent of their evaluations are based on student learning gains on standardized tests.

Tennessee’s new teacher evaluation system has prompted some school districts to ban student teachers from working in core high school subjects, college education officials say. The reason: So much of a teacher’s evaluation is now based on student test scores that some teachers don’t want to cede control of their classroom to a student teacher.

“It’s nothing but the teacher evaluation system that’s got them tied up in knots,” James Stamper, director of student teaching for Belmont University, told The Tennessean. “We all had to have somewhere to start.”

Recent changes in state law—including teacher evaluations and toughening the curriculum—allowed Tennessee to win $500 million in the national Race to the Top education grant competition.…Read More

Video to be a key part of student teacher evaluation

Minnesota is expected to be the first state to implement a new video component of teacher evaluation systems.

Standing at the edge of a pond surrounded by her class of fourth-graders, student teacher Jasmine Zeppa filled a bucket with brown water and lectured her pupils on the science of observing and recording data. Many of the children seemed more interested in nearby geese, a passing jogger, and the crunchy leaves underfoot.

Zeppa’s own professor from St. Catherine University stood nearby and recorded video of it all.

“I think it went as well as it possibly could have, given her experience,” said the professor, Susan Gibbs Goetz. Her snap review: The 25-year-old Zeppa could have done a better job holding the students’ attention, but she did well building on past lessons.…Read More