Today, D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced changes to DCPS’ Impact teacher evaluation system for the 2012-2013 school year, also known as Impact 3.0.
As you may recall, the Washington Teachers’ Union has no legal right to bargain the Impact teacher evaluation system. However, there has been constant dialogue between Chancellor Henderson and myself.
While I was successful in influencing Chancellor on the following:
- Less Reliance on Student Test Scores
Next school year, student performance on the D.C. CAS will count for 35 percent of your evaluation score.
- Fewer Classroom Observations
The number of observations has been reduced from five to four and all teachers will have one informal observation that is designed to assist you to become a better teacher and will not count towards your Impact score.
- Less Anxiety for Top Teachers
Teachers who consistently receive an “Effective” or “Highly Effective” rating can receive even fewer observations to help eliminate the anxiety that many good teachers may feel.
I am concerned with the Chancellor’s independent modifications that include:
- Ever-Changing Expectations
Once again, D.C. Public Schools has moved the target for teachers by requiring 50 more points than last year to receive an “Effective” rating, which is now 300.
- Punishment, Not Professional Development
I am also deeply concerned by the Chancellor’s decision to create a new fifth “Developing” rating for teachers earning final scores between 250 and 299, who then will have three years to receive a higher rating or be fired.
According to The Washington Post, almost half of the teachers who received an “Effective” rating during the 2010-11 school year, would now be considered “developing” under Impact 3.0. I am concerned about the number of teachers this may affect and what could be viewed as DCPS’ concerted effort to fire more public school teachers.
At the beginning of the school year, I will meet with our membership to explain these changes in depth, hear your concerns and together, we will determine our next course of action. We must remain focused on the big picture: fewer teachers are being terminated, more teachers are “Highly Effective,” and students are making academic progress that exceeds their charter school counterparts.
Let your voice be heard! Together, we have the power to apply the pressure to influence change. Share your concerns with the Chancellor and local stakeholders by taking WTU’s Impact 3.0: What Do You Think? survey or leave a comment to express your thoughts and opinions.
Nathan A. Saunders