Pennsylvania Education Secretary says Educator Evaluation Results Show Need for Change

Education Secretary Ron Tomalis

Pennsylvania’s  education secretary says the results of teacher and principal evaluations in the 2009-10 school year in Pennsylvania raise serious concerns about the quality of the evaluation system.   Ron Tomalis says he has great concerns about a system that ranks nearly 100% of the educators as satisfactory, when one out of four of the students in Pennsylvania are not performing at grade level. 

Tomalis says the Corbett administration is proposing an aggressive and rigorous evaluation system. Half of the proposed evaluation would be  based on how well students are doing in the classroom, the rest would be determined by how well the teacher manages the class, how prepared they are and how knowledgeable they are on content.  

 Tomalis says Pennsylvania spends $700 million a year on professional development. He says they want to make sure that money is properly targeted.

Tomalis says the goal is not necessarily to remove struggling teachers from the classroom; they first want to see that these teachers can get the resources and assistance needed to get them up to speed,  where they will have a positive impact on student achievement.

Tomalis says the current evaluation system is a one-size-fits-all approach.

Tomalis says it doesn’t matter what class size you have, how much money is spent per pupil or how many computers there are in the classroom.  He says if you have a highly effective teacher, you’ll have a greater impact than all those other factors.

The goal is to start rolling out a new evaluation system in the 2012-2013 school year.