Thursday, February 24, 2011
Anyone need a good cry?
Teachers in Wyoming might someday have to add an extra step to their lesson plans: Smile for the camera.
State lawmakers have proposed installing video cameras and taping lessons to help evaluate teachers’ performance.
The occasional videotaped class has long been a tool for training and self-reflection. But the notion of tying recorded lessons to high-stakes evaluations raises a host of thorny issues.
Schools would have to consider who would be evaluating the taped lessons, what criteria they’d use, and how student and teacher privacy would be respected.
If such details can be ironed out, videos could lead to more-nuanced evaluations, says Elena Silva, a senior policy analyst at Education Sector in Washington. “There’s a lot of consternation [among teachers] about using just test scores [by students to judge them].... This is a way of bringing the human element into teacher evaluation,” she says.