ROYAL OAK, Mich. - Michigan teachers are our education system’s most valuable asset. And yet as a state, we’ve neglected to make major investments in building our teachers’ ability to teach, unlike a growing number of leading states.
The lack of such state investment, and its impact on teachers and children, is clear. A new report, “Good for Teachers, Good for Students,” by the nonprofit Education Trust-Midwest finds that Michigan’s local districts and charter schools are struggling mightily to better support teachers to build their skills to raise students’ learning. High-quality teacher evaluation systems do exactly that, but they are still a rarity in Michigan.
An Education Trust-Midwest examination of 28 local teacher evaluation models used across Michigan during the 2011-12 school year found that all of them lacked at least one important research-based component, such as reliability. The findings underscore the vital importance of the state’s new effort – expected to be completed by the spring – to create research-based state standards needed to guide local evaluation models; ensure teachers are being evaluated fairly and soundly; and establish a statewide value-added growth model to be used by all schools to be one measure among many in all local evaluation models.