Roundup: Teacher Evaluation Overhauls Yield Modest Results

Very Few Teachers Receive Poor Job Ratings, And New evaluations Haven’t Changed That Washington Post: Are the new evaluations — many of which incorporate test scores or other measures of student learning — any better at identifying poor teaching? Not really, according to a new working paper by Matthew Kraft of Brown University and Allison Gilmour of Vanderbilt. And that’s a problem for those who believe that evaluations should be used as a way to help teachers improve, and those who believe evaluations should be used as a way to get rid of poor performers, Kraft said.

Despite Teacher-Evaluation Changes, the ‘Widget Effect’ Is Alive and Well Teacher Beat: Despite widespread efforts to make evaluation systems more truthful, most teachers continue to receive good teacher-evaluation ratings—including a handful who probably don’t deserve them, according to a recently released working paper.

On the Upper West Side, a radical plan to desegregate schools faces an uphill climb Chalkbeat: On Tuesday, the district’s Community Education Council will host the first of two information sessions about that style of admissions, known as “controlled choice.” Another Manhattan district and one in Brooklyn are also exploring such systems, and education department officials watching closely to see what they come up with. But the prospect of District 3 adopting a controlled choice system anytime soon appears slim.

Obama Encouraging Young People To Learn Math, Science AP: More than 50 national labs in 20 states are opening their doors this week to approximately 5,000 elementary, middle and high school students to help spark interest by exposing them to the scientists, engineers and lab employees who carry out important work and research at facilities in their communities.

Teach For America Marks 25th Anniversary With A Commitment To Recruit More Teachers Of Color NewsOne: At the top of TFA’s agenda going forward is recruiting teachers of color to meet the needs of the nation’s exploding Latino student population and African-American pupils who are struggling to close the academic achievement gap. 

Testing for Joy and Grit? Schools Nationwide Push to Measure Students’ Emotional Skills NYT: Starting this year, their school and schools in eight other California districts will test students on how well they have learned the kind of skills like self-control and conscientiousness. A recent update to federal education law requires states to include at least one nonacademic measure in judging school performance. But the race to test for so-called social-emotional skills has raised alarms even among the biggest proponents of teaching them, who warn that the definitions are unclear and the tests faulty.

How this Bay Area charter school network is reinventing education Hechinger Report/LA Times:  Where many would see signs of success, Tavenner saw failure. “I taught those kids,” Tavenner said of that moment in 2011. “I was their principal,… Diane Tavenner scanned the list of names a staffer at Summit Preparatory Charter High School had just handed her. She began to cry. They weren’t happy tears.

L.A. Unified plans a Common Core makeover for its elementary school report cards KPCC: Right now, students get two marks for each subject: an academic grade and an effort grade. The report card changes are being proposed as part of a plan to better help parents track how well students are mastering the expectations spelled out in new sets of academic standards.

Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.