Teacher Evaluation in New Haven
New York City’s “teacher improvement plan” will look like New Haven’s? Makes you want to cut through all the fancy language about validators and speak with real New Haven teachers. Which I did.
I’m from New Haven. My family’s from New Haven. Some of my best friends… Well, I have relatives who teach in and near “the Have” (as no one calls it, but maybe we should). And here’s what I gleaned from two short conversations:
The new evaluation system has made no difference to the majority of teachers. An extra form to fill in, and three meetings each year with a supervisor, mostly to just sign off rather than talk about it. The categories (in New Haven they have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, not H, E, D, I) are mushy, and it’s easy to get bumped up or down a notch, or even two. Here’s the New Haven Teacher Evaluation forms.
The bottom line seemed to be the whole system doesn’t matter – unless you get on the principal’s bad side, and then a 3 can become a 2 and you go in for the improvement plan or whatever they call it, which is apparently a miserable experience, but you sit through it and are ok the next year.
That’ll teach people to speak up.