Video Evaluation in Minnesota Schools

Patricia Hawke

Minnesota is going to be the first state to bring forth a new way of evaluating teachers. This is going to be through video monitoring. The current way schools evaluate teachers is through written tests and passing their class work.  How was this current method of evaluating teachers even acceptable in the past? This would not be an effective method of evaluating how teachers interact with students.
The main objective a teacher has is to teach as much information to a student as possible in the years time they have them as a student and for that student to retain the information and be able to use it. For us to think it’s acceptable to evaluate our children’s teachers by a test score and a curriculum plan is ridiculous. How do we know if they are effectively teaching the students based solely on teachers intentions? Teachers are protected by a union, which makes it difficult to get rid of bad teachers. If we had a better way of evaluating their affect on students we might be able to get rid of the teachers that are wasting our kids time in their classrooms.
The union rejected the evaluation of teachers based on the students test scores, saying that didn’t relate to the teachers teaching, but this new way of evaluating directly is related to teaching styles and how effective their teaching methods are. This video evaluation records clips of teacher lesson plans and how they interact with the students, hoe they deliver their lesson plan, how they individualize the lesson plan to each students different learning speeds and abilities and if it is affective. This is a much better way of seeing how effective a teacher is teaching our children.
This is much smarter for schools to evaluate teachers this way because this will help eliminate the “bad seeds” in the faculty for the schools that adopt this evaluation method. The school will be able to see which teachers are going above and beyond to deliver excellent lesson plans, teach their students effectively and challenge the students. The less bad teachers a school has, the higher the ratings will be for that school. Its very important to have great school ratings so that more parents will trust that their kids are learning as much as they can and retaining the information because of the quality of teachers that school has. 
The school will hire “teacher evaluators” to come in and evaluate the teachers one by one to determine if they are good teachers and if they are effectively teaching the students. This will make it less biased when determining their strong and weak points since there is no emotional connection or direct relationship between the teacher and the hired “teacher evaluators.”
This program will launch in 2012 and Massachusetts, Tennessee, Washington and Ohio will be taking on this new evaluation method as well. We will soon begin to see a change across the nations schools as the bad teachers are weeded out and schools ratings go up!
Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. For more information please visit  Minnesota School Ratings and   Public School Rankings