State education Commissioner Deborah Gist is slated to discuss Rhode Island’s controversial teacher evaluations during a panel discussion this morning at the Fordham Institute in Washington, DC, a conservative public policy think-tank.
Today's event will highlight a new report from the George W. Bush Foundation called, "Operating in the Dark: What Outdated State Policies and Data Gaps Mean for Effective School Leadership." A spokesman from the Rhode Island Department of Education says Gist is also expecting to discuss a new academy for training transformational principals in Rhode Island.
Both the leadership academy and the teacher evaluations are part of Rhode Island's $75 million Race to the Top grant. Teachers have raised concerns about the evaluations, which use standardized test scores as one measure of teacher effectiveness. Teachers say the annual reviews are too time consuming, and they are worried that test scores are weighted too heavily for teachers who teach in subject areas covered by annual state testing.