Teachers: Check Accuracy of Your Evaluation Data Now Reported in MOECS

Reblogged from mea.org

Starting this month, K-12 teachers will need to check the accuracy of their evaluation data from the last five years that will be uploaded to the state’s online database known as the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS).
New state rules will tie some types of teacher certificate renewal and progression to effectiveness labels teachers received during the most recent five-year period. The change is part of the new Michigan educator evaluation law, Public Act 173 of 2015.
The evaluation data will be available Aug. 19 to view in MOECS. If teachers find their evaluation data is inaccurate, they will need to work with their district to file a data appeal to correct it. Appeals to correct errors can be filed from Sept. 1-Dec. 1, 2016.
PA 173 maintained the requirement that annual year-end evaluations assign one of four effectiveness labels based on the tools and measurements used in a district’s educator evaluation system: highly effective, effective, minimally effective, or ineffective. In addition, the law creates new requirements for the renewal and progression of certain certificates based on the effectiveness labels.
The only immediate change involves teachers who wish to pursue a purely optional level of certification known as the Advanced Professional Certificate. In addition, after July 1, 2018, teachers applying to progress for the first time from a Provisional Certificate to a Professional Certificate will be affected by the changes.
Under the law, evaluations will not play a role in the issuance or renewal of a Provisional Certificate or in renewal of a Professional Certificate.
In order to progress to or renew the optional Advanced Professional Certificate, beginning immediately, a teacher must have 
  • Received a highly effective rating on three out of the five most recent annual year-end evaluations; AND
  • Not been rated ineffective within the five most recent years; AND
  • Met additional criteria, such as the completion of National Board Certification or an approved teacher leader program.
In order to progress to the initial Professional Certificate on or after July 1, 2018, a teacher must have  
  • Successfully completed three years of teaching; AND
  • Received effective or highly effective annual year-end evaluations for the 3 consecutive school years immediately preceding his or her application for the professional teaching certificate; OR
  • Received three nonconsecutive effective or highly effective annual year-end evaluations and have received a recommendation for certificate progression from his or her chief school administrator.
For additional information, visit www.michigan.gov/mde-edevals or email MDE-EdEvals@ michigan.gov.

Happy Labor Day!

“Right to Work,” by the Numbers: Part 15 at Academe Blog 

The ‘seven deadly sins’ of Common Core — by an English teacher

Reblogged from The Washington Post’s Answer Sheet by Valerie Strauss

For years now, the Common Core State Standards have been at the center of a national controversy over public education. Supporters say the standards, being used in most states, will improve public education, raising the standards that had formerly been used in most states. Critics say otherwise; earlier this year, for example, more than 100 education researchers in California collectively issued a research brief saying that there is no “compelling” evidence that the Common Core State Standards will improve the quality of education for children or close the achievement gap. (They also labeled new Common Core standardized tests as lacking “validity, reliability and fairness.”)

Here is a new detailed look at the standards from a teacher in Georgia who once supported the Core but no longer does. She is D’Lee Pollock-Moore, an English teacher and English department chair at Warren County High School. In this post, a version of what appeared on her Musings from Master P blog, she details what she thinks are the “worst of the worst” of the English Language Arts standards.  Pollock-Moore gave me permission to publish her piece. (Pollock-Moore bolded certain words in the piece.)

By D’Lee Pollock-Moore

Here in jargon-free, acronym-free terms, is my list of what I consider to be the worst of the worst — or the seven deadly sins — of the Common Core English Language Arts standards.

  1. The Common Core English Standards are too ambiguous.

Before Common Core, many state English standards were specific.

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High school teacher: I’m banning laptops in class — and not just because they are distracting

Reblogged from the Washington Post by Valerie Strauss

Every since computers began to enter classrooms and policy makers made wiring schools a top education priority, technology boosters have talked about the many ways that education and student life could be improved. E-textbooks could be unlimited in scope and easily updated, research could be conducted online, collaboration could extend around the world, and note-taking could be much easier in class.

Some of that’s true, but increasingly teachers at all levels of education are pulling away from the idea that allowing students to have laptops and tablets in class is a good idea. Why? Here’s a piece that answers that question, by Giles Scott, an English high school teacher for seven years at an independent school for the arts and sciences who is teaching in the upcoming school year at a private school in northern California. Scott explains why he has decided not to allow his students bring in laptops and tablets anymore.

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Is ‘Fun’ an Ideal Teaching Goal?

Reblogged from Education Week by Kyle Redford

I get frustrated when teachers are encouraged to make school “fun”. Go ahead and debate me, but I think “fun” is a term better used for the playground than the classroom. Teachers who promise to make school fun are like parents who want to be friends with their children. Sure, I am all for fun (and friends), but in the appropriate context. Learning can and should be engaging, exciting, compelling, stimulating, satisfying, inspiring, imaginative and even pleasurable. But fun? A teacher’s main job is to help students become more competent, confident and curious. Fun rarely delivers on those goals. Words matter. The word “fun” can trivialize the serious work related to learning and confuse teaching with entertaining.

Just to be clear, I want my students to enjoy school as much as any other teacher and I do not believe that teachers should try to convert every moment into a measurable learning opportunity. I believe in the importance of play during the school day. Likewise, being creative, passionate and enthusiastic about our teaching certainly helps to make it more effective. But the word fun aptly describes recess, end-of-day dance parties, Jeopordy quizzes, field games, and holiday celebrations — things that punctuate and support learning, but do not define it.

Let’s admit it, learning is sometimes uncomfortable. That is okay.

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