It will include student peformance.
School Districts in Maryland will need to develop new ways to evaluate teachers. Student performance will now be added to the process. Frederick County Teachers Association President Gary Brennan is co-chairing a commission dealing with the issue, along with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Theresa Alban.
But developing the method for judging teachers on how well their students perform in the classroom is not easy. "It's not that we don't want to be held accountable for our students' success. But what we're finding at the state and the local level is the difficulty in finding measures that truly and validly show student growth back to what the teacher has done that's fair, transparent and valid," Brennan says. He was a guest Saturday on WFMD's "Frederick's Forum."
It's a state mandate, but there's not much guidance coming from the state. "The funny thing is we're doing all this and we're making all these plans and trying to figure all this out, the state hasn't decided exactly all these things. They haven't decided how all these basic things will work out. They haven't even decided how much growth is enough growth," says Brennan.
He says one question that hasn't been answered is how a teacher will be judged if a student fails to show up for class. or if a student has special needs.
School systems are required to have a pilot program in place by the fall of 2012. "If we don't go forward, then there's a provision in the law that says if you don't have something ready to be piloted next year, then you have to do what the state tells you to do," he says.
Each school district must have a program fully in place by 2014.
Brennan hopes that Frederick County can develop its own program, and share its expertise with other counties. And that other counties could share their experiences with Frederick County.