Smith Says New Teacher Evaluations Will Provide More Meaningful Feedback
(HARRISBURG) - Pennsylvania House Speaker Sam Smith (R-Jefferson, Indiana, Armstrong) said today that landmark legislation providing for a new and improved statewide system for evaluating teachers, principals and non-teaching professionals has been enacted.
“Most employees who have a thorough understanding of goals and expectations, how they can achieve them, and where they can improve along the way will be effective in the workplace,” Smith said. “In this case, we tried to make both subjective and objective criteria part of the evaluation process. My hope is that educators will get more concrete guidance out of their annual evaluations and that we’ll see improved student performance as a result.”
Under the new system, student achievement will make up 50 percent of the classroom teacher’s overall evaluation, with the remaining 50 percent based on traditional teacher practices.
Student achievement will be calculated using various measures, including, but not limited to, achievement on statewide assessments, student growth data through the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System, and elective measures chosen at the local level.
“Our aim was not to base teacher evaluations solely on students’ test scores,” Smith stressed.
He said the remaining 50 percent of the assessment will include classroom observations in the areas of planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities.
Following the evaluation, educators will be given a rating of distinguished, proficient, needs improvement or failing.
“Our educators, like all professionals, deserve thorough and meaningful feedback on their job performance,” Smith said. “As we worked to improve the current evaluation system, we sought feedback from all the stakeholders in order to reach a good compromise on the improvements. I think we have done something positive for both students and teachers.”
State Representative Sam Smith
66th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Kelly Fedeli