For too long, teachers have been treated as if they were all the same. School districts have not been able to measure differences in teacher effectiveness, much less use this information to help teachers improve. In fact, traditional teacher evaluation systems have been solely based observation of classroom teaching practices. Pittsburgh Public Schools recognizes that using one way to look at effective teaching is simply not enough.
PPS teachers knew that their evaluation process was not working. It was not helping them improve, and it was not accurately reflecting teaching in their schools. Extraordinary teachers were not being recognized, professional development was not supporting individual areas for growth, and ineffective teachers were routinely being told their performance was satisfactory.
For more than four years, more than 700 PPS teachers and administrators have worked together with national experts to explore and develop the most fair and reliable tools available for understanding teacher effectiveness, and have adapted these measures to work in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Public Schools now has multiple ways to understand and respond to differences in teacher effectiveness.
Thanks to their hard work, Pittsburgh Public Schools is one of few districts nationally with three new collaboratively designed, research-based measures of teacher effectiveness that, together, are beginning to produce more information about teacher effectiveness.
The District is now able to look at teaching through three lenses:
- Student Learning and Growth
- Student Perception
Currently, observation is the only tool being used for teacher evaluation. Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, in alignment with Act 82 of 2012, the District will bring effectiveness into focus by unifying observation, student learning and growth, and student perception to evaluate teachers.