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A Framework for Good Teaching: a Conversation with Charlotte Danielson

Reader Comment: Charlotte Danielson says, "The framework includes the four critical domains of planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities, each divided into smaller components." This sounds very directive rather than facilitative to me. As you say, "Student intellectual engagement is the heart of the framework for teaching and is reflected in the nature of what we ask the students to do." Since the paradigm is always compulsory, "ask" is really "tell" isn't it?

As a parent I'm more interested in education in a completely different, learner-directed paradigm... http://www.leftyparent.com/blog/2010/08/07/when-the-student-is-read

Ohanian Comment: First of all, read Jesse Rothstein's review of this Gates-funded MET research study. He concludes:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's "Measures of Effective Teaching" (MET) Project seeks to validate the use of a teacher's estimated "value -added"--computed from the year-on-year test score gains of her students--as a measure of teaching effectiveness. Using data from six school districts, the initial report examines correlations between student survey responses and value-added scores computed both from state tests and from higher-order tests of conceptual understanding. The study finds that the measures are related, but only modestly. The report interprets this as support for the use of value-added as the basis for teacher evaluations. This conclusion is unsupported, as the data in fact indicate that a teacher's value-added for the state test is not strongly related to her effectiveness in a broader sense. Most notably, value-added for state assessments is correlated 0.5 or less with that for the alternative assessments, meaning that many teachers whose value-added for one test is low are in fact quite effective when judged by the other. As there is every reason to think that the problems with value-added measures apparent in the MET data would be worse in a high-stakes environment, the MET results are sobering about the value of student achievement data as a significant component of teacher evaluations.
But the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Charlotte Danielson and Teachscape's many partners are bothered with facts. They rush ahead with an online hoopla for training and certifying teacher evaluators. Below Charlotte Danielson says, "[W]e are confident that we know how to do this work...."


Every teacher and parent of a public school child should take a look at the 29-page rubric for evaluating teachers produced with Gates money and Danielson influence in Denver. It was 28 pages long in 2010-11. Now for 2011-12, they've added a page. I got a big laugh when I read a small part of it aloud at the British Columbia Teacher Federation annual meeting August 2011.

Be sure to take a look at Teachscape partners, which include the Gates Foundation, AFT, ETS, Great Books,SRA/McGraw-Hill, and so on.

I've reported on Teachscape before, but they sure get the last laugh now. Also see: Teachers AFT Is Killing You. Read on, and you will see that you don't have to be a member of AFT to be a victim here. There's no way you can avoid being a victim. . . unless you demand that your unions and your professional organizations fight for you.

Interview Excerpt

. . . Peter DeWitt: How can the profession ensure that observations of teaching are reliable and consistent?

Charlotte Danielson: I have been involved in the large Gates-funded MET research study. The MET study of effective teaching has captured something like 28,000 hours of classroom teaching and it involves five observation protocols, of which mine is one. It also involves Value Added Measures of student learning, and also data on student perceptions.
The study is researching to see which aspects of teachers' practice is most highly correlated to student learning.. In order to answer that question, hundreds of raters had to be trained and certified on each of the observation protocols, including mine.. They had to watch videos and score them according to whatever protocols they were using.

Teachscape is the company that conducted all the video capture, and developed the software for both scoring the lessons and training and certifying the raters. For the framework instrument, raters passed the test at a very high rate and we are confident that we know how to do this work, as challenging as it is.

On November 1, Teachscape (working with me and with ETS as a psychometric partner, will be releasing a commercial version of this training and proficiency system; this is important because many states now recognize that it's important that observers of classroom teaching do so reliably and accurately.

However, when New York State says you that if you are going to be a lead evaluator you have to be certified, they do not specify what is meant by that; it's left to the discretion of each school district.. I'm concerned about possible legal challenges. I fear that if teachers are dismissed, or denied tenure, based on a poor system, they'll sue, and probably win! This proficiency system based on the framework for teaching -- online training, practice, and proficiency test -- that we are releasing is our best way to make sure that high stakes evaluation will be fair to teachers and at the same time be helpful. . . .

— PeterDeWitt interviews Charlotte Danielson
Finding Common Ground blog





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