Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Highly qualified database

The Tennessean provides us with a database of highly qualified teachers that may have been overlooked in the sidebar of their "Federal teacher quality measure doesn't tell all" article in Monday's paper. It still doesn't tell us WHO isn't highly qualified, or if your child is in their class, but it's a start.

Teachers typically receive the designation by using college transcripts, test scores and career portfolios to demonstrate their expertise. Those who haven't passed a national teaching exam in the subjects they teach have to sign up for the test.
In Metro, Middle Tennessee's largest school district with close to 5,000 teachers last school year, 95.7 percent of core classes were taught by highly qualified teachers like Gilmore, according to state data. The number has been climbing over the years, with 65 percent of core subjects being taught by highly qualified teachers two years ago.


Nashteach said...

if your child is in their class

If they go beyond 1 year as not "highly qualified," a letter is sent home to parents of kids in the class.

Interesting to note that two years ago, only 65% were deemed "highly qualified" and now 95.7% are. That's quite a gain in two years for such a "meaningful designation." I'm a bit skeptical that the designation means much of anything.

Gilmore, mentioned in the article, was both my high school Latin teacher and then later a colleague. She's an exceptional teacher and an amazing person. I agree with her statement about evaluation being the best tool to determine effectiveness. Sometimes, the citizen at home on his computer just isn't going to have

Nashteach said...

...the same ability as a principal to know everything they need to know to truly determine effectiveness. It's just not as exact as looking up scores.

Kay Brooks said...

How about parents of children about to be in the class? Or taxpayers who are paying their salary?

Yeah, that was a tremendous jump. You're not alone in your skepticism.

I agree, observation is a very valuable evaluation tool. Though, I wouldn't place it above value added scores. Certainly, if the value added scores were borderline I'd let the evaluation of a successful teacher/supervisor tip the scales or provide a probationary period.