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Sun Oct 28, 2012, 02:40 PM

Charlotte Danielson: For the LIFE of Me I Cannot Understand Why Her....

.... Teacher Eval. Rubric is so Popular.

To me ... it is idiocy itself. It allows anyone.... a 10 year old can do it... who can make checks on a clipboard to superficially and artificially evaluate the "quality"of classroom instruction based on incomplete "snapshots" ( i.e. surprise 15 minute 'walkthrough' observations.)

http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2012/10/hush-hush-sweet-charlotte-from-rob-rendo.html

Aside from the fact that it's a handy tool with which to conduct psychological warfare in the war against teachers, can anyone explain why this particular ... ummmmm.... *methodology* has been adopted all of a sudden by so many school systems?

Is there $$$ involved??

Does anyone here have any experience at either end ( observing or being observed) w. the "Danielson Frameworks"?

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Reply Charlotte Danielson: For the LIFE of Me I Cannot Understand Why Her.... (Original post)
Smarmie Doofus Oct 2012 OP
LWolf Oct 2012 #1
Smarmie Doofus Oct 2012 #2
LWolf Oct 2012 #3
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #5
Smarmie Doofus Nov 2012 #7
LWolf Nov 2012 #8
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #9
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #4
LWolf Oct 2012 #6

Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Sun Oct 28, 2012, 04:48 PM

1. I can share a little, anyway.

I think Danielson herself is okay. At least, the part about professional growth and development, which is what I thought her primary purpose was.

When you take anything out of context, though, it's ripe for misuse. In the current climate, NOTHING is purely about professional growth and development; it all reeks of competition, bribe, and punishment. Using Danielson's framework, like my district is doing, for high-stakes evaluations that our jobs, and for some, our pay rates, depend on is a misuse, to say the least.

You end up with a bunch of supportive sounding talking points while feeling the knife at your back. A mixed message, to say the least.

Honestly, I read one of her books a couple of years before our district used it to develop an evaluation tool; when the evaluation tool was rolled out last year, I kept thinking that it didn't seem to fit what I remember having read. That, and since it "isn't primarily about evaluation," quoted from my district, it was combined with an evaluation system that doesn't really fit well. Ken Marshall's work has something to do with it.

Now I see Danielson has a bunch of stuff out specifically about evaluation. sigh. We had to watch a bunch of videos of her talking about evaluation, with clips of teachers and students in classrooms. She seemed to be more supportive and less critical in those videos; I think she'd decide more of us are proficient and distinguished than the admins doing the observations and evaluations do.

Also, when I look at the information provided on my district's "educator evaluation system" page, there are a bunch of links to corporate performance management as "suggested reading."

When you put it all together, to be honest, it sounds and feels like something from Rhee's new teacher project.





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Response to LWolf (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 28, 2012, 08:47 PM

2. As usual, you said a mouthful.

There's an interview she gave on the net somewhere in which she warned ( several years ago) against the abuse of her work as an evaluative "gotcha" tool. She id'd a district in NJ as being guilty of this. (It's pretty easy to find w. google).

My district adopted it (Danielson Frameworks) last year, rewrote some of the "competencies" ( Why re-write it? Why else would we have an ED bureaucracy as big as the one we have? They HAVE to do SOMETHING. Or at least APPEAR to be doing something.) and more or less *instantly* transformed it into a gotcha tool. Sounds a lot like your own district. No?

They'll deny it, but it's clear the building admins were under pressure ( or encouragement; more $$ perhaps?) from higher-ups to produce low-ratings. The reality is that any rating system can be easily twisted this way or that. "What a fool believes, he sees." ( Thanks, Doobie Bros.) Or doesn't see. Danielson makes this very easy to do. She provides *cover*.

My main problem w. Danielson is her micro-managing, nit-picking-ish idea of what "effective" classroom instruction "looks like". She attempts to quantify it by describing a sort of inventory of "evidence" --- i.e. behaviors of the teacher and/or the students in the classroom that should be observable.... essentially in every single lesson, in every little "snapshot."

Like most corporate ed reformers, ( Danielson is an economist by training) she deals w. theory at the expense of reality. There is no "one size fits all" approach to pedagogy. I had an amiable email exchange w. her last year in which she ( with some reluctance, I don't mind telling you) acknowledged this.

Yet , she goes on and on, signing big $$ contracts w. this school district and that. The districts use her Frameworks as a means of overwhelming teachers w. minutiae. No one can fulfill all of Danielson's criteria for "Highly Effective" teaching in every lesson. NOR *SHOULD* they. ( Check out "Setting up to fail" on Wikipedia. THAT'S what's really going on, imo.)

There's also the question of funny $$$. According to Ohanian.... Danielson has been the beneficiary of Gates $$. ( googleable). No shock there but it could explain why she's given a pass by the teachers' unions. They LOVE her. ( Believe me, I raised holy hell w. my union about this last year.) Of course they ALSO get Gates $$$.

I'm not saying there's necessarily collusion , or that anyone's been bought off. But I AM saying that there is a great deal re. the nationwide stampede to adopt and implement Danielson that is --- as of now--- inexplicable.

It's mighty strange.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 08:30 AM

3. And you've given a mouthful back.

Mighty strange, or just the stereotypical process of corruption in swift action.

Did you ever notice the way these things happen? The district unveils some idea...like calling some of us together several year's back to review the Framework, without suggesting any particular use of it, and get feedback. In the context of professional development, the feedback is reasonable.

A few years later it comes back with a new context: evaluation, and while we're scrambling to regain our balance, we are reminded that it was a "group effort;" something we decided with that reasonable feedback. We are encouraged to think that we, local teachers and admins, are at the helm of our ship.

Then we find out that it's a nationwide stampede. It was never a local effort.

The 15 minute walk-throughs aren't even Danielson. They are Ken Marshall. At least, that's what our evaluation committee tells us. The check lists...

We've been told that having our goals posted will be on the checklist and will affect our evaluations. By goals, of course, they mean standards that the current lesson addresses. Of COURSE we all want to be constantly posting standards for everything we do throughout the day.

I took another hit in the "team player" column when I voiced opposition to this idea at our most recent "PLC" meeting.

I fumed about it for a day, then wrote a short list of very broad goals, not standards, turned them into a poster, put them up, and am now remembering to ask the kids frequently what goal they are working on. We'll see if that suffices, or if my evaluation suffers because they are not actual standards.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:00 PM

5. "Then we find out that it's a nationwide stampede. It was never a local effort."

 

yes, that's a creepy aspect of what's going on. i had a couple of cousins who participated (unknowingly) in early ed reform/charter school ventures in nyc & texas. not billed as that, but in retrospect i can see that both were kind of trial runs and connected to the same players.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 1, 2012, 06:15 PM

7. "Here's the Gun. Here are the Bullets. Place the Bullets in the Gun, Point it at Your Head and.....

>>>Did you ever notice the way these things happen? The district unveils some idea...like calling some of us together several year's back to review the Framework, without suggesting any particular use of it, and get feedback. In the context of professional development, the feedback is reasonable.

A few years later it comes back with a new context: evaluation, and while we're scrambling to regain our balance, we are reminded that it was a "group effort;" something we decided with that reasonable feedback. We are encouraged to think that we, local teachers and admins, are at the helm of our ship.>>>>



1. In other words.. they try to sneak it thru. The implication being that we have already conceded its ( i.e. the instrument's) legitimacy. My school didn't do this w. Danielson ( they just told us we're doing it because it's a "pilot" and the ratings supposedly wouldn't count.) But they were setting us up that way a couple of years w. some other rubric... can't remember the name of it, it originated in Santa Cruz --- U of Cal. before our rulers decided to go w. Danielson. ( People were happy at first: no one... teacher or admin... could understand the absurdly pretentious and creepy, utterly incoherent "English" of the Santa Cruz rubrics.)

We were supposed to self-rate ourselves . We were supposed to identify our own weaknesses as part of the project. Then establish "professional goals" to deal w. the weaknesses. To me it reminded me of the Maoist hijinks during the Cultural Revolution: people ( i.e. dissidents) had to wear signs confessing to political "sins" and wear dunce caps. ( Later on some of 'em were.... ummmm... liquidated, if memory serves. BTW, how are younger teachers supposed to even understand that historical reference? Much less appreciate its applicability. I fear for their future, I really do.)

I commented... not publicly, but to colleagues privately, ... that it would be unwise to rate one's self as anything other than "highly effective", lest the powers-that-be use your self rating against you at a dismissal hearing some day. ("But you yourself said..... blah, blah blah.... back in 2012.)

2. I'm pretty sure Danielson has "walkthoughs" or "partials" in her first book. If not her first than in her second. She may have scooped it from someone else. I'm not familiar w. Marshall, and... now that I'm retired.... I don't WANT to be.)

3. >>>>>We've been told that having our goals posted will be on the checklist and will affect our evaluations. By goals, of course, they mean standards that the current lesson addresses. Of COURSE we all want to be constantly posting standards for everything we do throughout the day. >>>>>

This business of posting the standards.... and *aligning* the standards: new---- with old---- with CC---with iep goals--- and posting them and then writing them in your lesson plan is just chicken shit and appears nowhere, far as I know, in any of Danielson's work. The districts just add this stuff to be able to find fault w. the teacher. If the district already approved the curriculum, even *mandated* it in many cases, why would it be necessary for the teacher to prove she/he is working on legit standards. It's redundant. The district presumably already established that it fit the standards. THAT'S WHY THEY MANDATED THE CURRICULUM!!!

Ok. Forgot I retired there for a minute. For me personally, it's all hypothetical now. But it bugs me that the unions are not ALL OVER the districts for pulling this crap. Also, as a taxpayer... I want schools that *work*.





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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 11:16 AM

8. It bugs me, too.

More elsewhere.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 01:35 PM

9. "To me it reminded me of the Maoist hijinks during the Cultural Revolution" = great comparison.

 

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Response to LWolf (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:13 PM

4. collaborating with gates.

 

Teacher Evaluation Training and Certification: Lessons Learned from the Measures of Effective Teaching Project

Catherine McClellan, PhD

Key participants in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project, Dr. Catherine McClellan, Charlotte Danielson, and Mark Atkinson, have released the inaugural Practitioner Series for Teacher Evaluation report titled, Teacher Evaluator Training and Certification: Lessons Learned from the Measures of Effective Teaching Project. The report, based on the experts' collaborative work on video-taping and scoring over 23,000 lessons across 3,000 classrooms for the MET project, is designed to offer state and district leaders with practical insights. In particular, the report highlights best practices of evaluator training, an often overlooked component of cutting-edge teacher effectiveness systems.

http://www.danielsongroup.org/article.aspx?page=TeacherEvaluation

The Framework for Teaching Proficiency System was developed by Teachscape in collaboration with Charlotte Danielson and Educational Testing Service (ETS) and was born out of the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Proficiency System integrates observer training, scoring practice and a proficiency assessment into a complete system and includes more than 15 hours of self-paced online training and over 100 master-scored videos and classroom scenarios covering all proficiency ranges for grades K-12.

http://www.teachscape.com/about/press-and-news/2012/pennsylvania-department-of-education-selects-teachscape%E2%80%99s-framework-for-teaching-proficiency-system.html


Interesting thing about Teachscape is it's owned by ABS Capital Partners, a spin-off from Alex Brown & Sons (the original banking house from which Brown Brothers Harriman came):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex._Brown_%26_Sons

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABS_Capital_Partners


The guiding luminaries of Alex Brown include former CIA Director Buzz Krongard:

http://www.nndb.com/company/856/000124484/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._B._Krongard


ABS heavily into education 'investment':

- American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI) is a leading provider of online post-secondary education focused primarily on serving the military and public services communities. APEI completed an IPO in November 2007.

- Whitney International University System is a leading provider of postsecondary education in Latin America.

- Rosetta Stone, Inc. (NYSE:RST) is a leading worldwide provider of interactive language-learning technology solutions used by schools, businesses, government organizations and millions of individuals around the world, with course offerings in 30 languages.

- Teachscape, Inc. provides industry-leading solutions, technology and services for K-12 and higher education markets.



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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 08:47 AM

6. Those connections say it all.

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