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Background and Historical Perspective of Teacher Evaluation

Background and Historical Perspective of Teacher Evaluation

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, students will examine the connections between the Elementary and Secondary Educational Act and No Child Left Behind and Teacher Evaluation.

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe. And in today's video lesson, we will dive into the lesson titled Background and Historical Perspective of Teacher Evaluation. As we learn about this topic, we will work towards one main learning objective. And together we'll answer the following question, what are the connections between the elementary and secondary educational act, and No Child Left Behind, and teacher evaluation?

Let's start with Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA. This specific act goes back to 1965. And at the time that it was established, the intentions were to provide funding for areas of need. Areas like funding for assisting school districts, and serving those low-income students. Funding federal grants for things like books and improvements in education, guided by state educational agencies, specifically elementary and secondary education. Funding to develop centers for education. And funding for scholarships, especially for low-income students that attend college. Title and federal grants were the source for funding in all of these areas.

The ESEA act was reauthorized in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind Act, which I'm sure that you're aware of, NCLB. In 2002 NCLB, or No Child Left Behind became law, ensuring equitable funding for schools serving low-income students was a priority, and Title I provided funding for this. Title I also added an element of accountability by means of state assessments. These state assessments focused on making gains in educational outcomes, closing achievement gaps and bringing higher levels of equity to student populations. A critical requirement for No Child Left Behind was the promise that most disadvantaged students in particular would have high-qualified teachers. This all fell under Title I.

Because of the transition to new standards and new testing, and the differences in systems when implementing, there have been some challenges in the ability to compare data consistently. Because of this, a waiver was developed called ESEA Flexibility. States can receive this waiver, and in doing so they're given flexibility in their ability to meet the No Child Left Behind requirements that year. Essentially, they're exempt for that school year.

In 2012, states were given the option to file for ESEA Flexibility for parts of the No Child Left Behind requirements. There was a qualification process to apply for this and receive the waiver. The states were required to submit intensive plans, to close achievement gaps, increase equity, improve the quality of instruction, and increased outcomes for all students. To this point, 42 states and Puerto Rico have qualified for the ESEA Flexibility upon submission.

These ESEA Flexibility waiver requirements were developed as a means to ensure students leaving that K through 12 system are prepared to succeed both in college settings and career paths. The waiver requirements were also put into place to ensure that students are from populations that are underserved and protected. They're also there to guarantee that teachers have what they need to meet these goals.

When establishing these acts it's important to consider and relay the future and vision. Sometimes this needs to be refined, or redefined, or at least need to be reminded of the vision as teachers. This is exactly what Secretary Duncan communicated on January 12, 2015. Duncan requested for Congress to create a law that will improve access to high quality preschool, foster innovation, and advances equity and access.

Another important part of ESEA Flexibility was the obligation for the schools to ensure that all students have access to high quality teachers. June 2015 is the deadline to submit a plan that ensures that protected classes of students meet certain requirements. First, these students must have access to a highly qualified teachers. Second, these schools serving protected groups of students must not have higher percentages of teachers that are not highly qualified than schools that serve larger numbers of socioeconomic students. It must be outlined and clarified by state educational agencies, or SEAs, how they will not only determine, but monitor the quality of the teachers serving these groups of underserved students. Evaluation of teachers will be pivotal in this process.

Let's talk for a minute about the requirements for reporting. How can it be ensured that teacher data is quality. According to ESEA qualifications of every elementary and secondary teacher in that given state, must be reported by SEAs, or State Educational Agencies, and the following must be reported. Professional qualifications of teachers, and the percentage of teachers with emergency or provisional licenses. As well as the percentage of classes in core academic subjects taught by teachers whom are not yet qualified, or highly qualified. This data must compare high-poverty and low-poverty schools. It's essential for SEAs to also include data from teacher evaluations. This will give qualifications as measured by these evaluations.

So let's talk about the significance of all of this. Marzano or Danielson models are two that have been used to form assessment models by many different states. These include the INTASC Professional Teacher Centers, as developed by the chief counsel of State School Officers to meet the requirements under regulations. Some similarities in evaluation models developed and used in different states include the fact that rubrics are used to align observations and professional teacher standards, conferences, both pre and post, self-evaluation of teachers. A review of student achievement data, and professional growth and professional practice being emphasized.

Research has shown that high quality teachers are one of the leading causes of an increase in student achievement, and closing of achievement gaps than any other single factor. It's for these reasons that US Department of Education has backed the requirements for these teacher evaluations.

Let's talk about what we learned today. We looked at the question, what are the connections between the Elementary and Secondary Educational Act, ESEA, and No Child Left Behind, NCLSB, and teacher evaluation? In today's video lesson, we discussed several important acts, ESEA and No Child Left Behind. We explored the background and history of the two, as well as ESEA Flexibility. We looked at the significance of these two acts, and implications on teacher evaluations.

Now that you're more familiar with these concepts, let's reflect. How has, or how will the No Child Left Behind Act affect you and your teaching career? What are the benefits and challenges that teachers and schools face as they implement the requirements that we discussed?

Thanks for joining me today in discussing the lesson, Background and Historical Perspective of Teacher Evaluation. I hope you found value in this video lesson, and are able to apply these ideas and resources to your own teaching. To dive a little deeper, and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

Notes on “Background and Historical Perspective of Teacher Evaluation”


(00:00- 00:24) Introduction/Objectives

(00:25- 01:06) Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

(01:07- 01:52) No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

(01:53- 03:14) ESEA Flexibility

(03:15- 03:43) Future of ESEA

(03:44- 04:33) High Quality Teachers

(04:34- 05:21) Reporting Requirements

(05:22- 06:21) Significance of ESEA and NCLB

(06:22- 06:54) Recap

(06:55- 07:39) Reflection 

Additional Resources

Developing Effective Teacher Evaluation Systems: A Conversation with Charlotte Danielson

This is a USDOE interview with Charlotte Danielson on the importance and significance of teacher evaluation.

Opportunity Is Not Optional: Secretary Duncan’s Vision for America’s Landmark Education Law
This article and video from the official USDOE blog show Secretary Duncan introducing ESEA Flexibility and Vision 2015.