By W. James Popham, University of California, Los Angeles
In just a few short years, the evaluation of U.S. teachers has undergone a total turnaround. We’ve moved from a formative, improvement-oriented paradigm to a summative, reward-‘em-or-replace-‘em approach.
Almost since teachers were first evaluated in this country, the process of evaluating them has been a decisively soft enterprise—focused on the improvement of teacher’s instructional skills rather than rewarding stellar teachers or removing weak teachers. But the teacher-evaluation game in America is now being played using very different rules, and those rules can cost teachers their livelihoods.