The NJ Spotlight Roundtable Series: Teacher Evaluation in the Classroom

The second in a series of NJ Spotlight Roundtables with educators participating in New Jersey’s teacher evaluation pilot, the controversial framework for measuring the performance of teachers and principals in the state’s public schools. Teachers and administrators, along with officials of the state Department of Education, discussed what they’ve learned so far, what issues they’ve encountered, what works, and what doesn’t.

Following up on the earlier roundtable, this session focused more on schools that have been required to join the pilot, largely due to low student performance. Nineteen schools from districts such as Jersey City, Newark, and Paterson have been mandated to revamp how teachers are evaluated, including the use of student performance as a key measure. The evaluation system that comes out of this program could affect how tenure is awarded and withheld, the way schools are structured, and what happens in the classroom.

John Mooney, education writer and cofounder of NJ Spotlight.

Panelists include:
Robert Fisicaro, state program director, Excellent Educators for New Jersey
Gemar Mills, principal, Malcom X Shabazz High School, Newark
Carolyn DelPiano, special education teacher, Snyder High School, Jersey City
Tanya Tenturier, fourth-grade teacher, Terence C. Reilly School, Elizabeth Public Schools
Diane Torman, school improvement supervisor, Jersey C Public Schools

Chapter 1: Introductions and Opening Remarks
How is New Jersey doing with teacher evaluation? It’s an issue that is critical to improving and reforming, to making certain that schools have the best people possible in front of students. NJ Spotlight gives the administrators and teachers directly involved with evaluation projects a chance to assess how it’s going.

Chapter 2: Panel Discussion and Audience Questions
What is the Danielson Methodology and why is it so widely distributed in schools involved in the pilot project (it’s in virtually every school). Is it easier to use than other approaches? Does it speak to a more valid paradigm?

Chapter 3: Continued Audience Q&A


DVDs and digital downloads of this NJ Spotlight Roundtable can be purchased here.