Dance: BCPS Won't Default to State Teacher Evaluation Plan

The Maryland State Department of Education rejected the school system's original proposal earlier in the year.

Though his original proposal was rejected, Superintendent Dallas Dance said Baltimore County Public Schools won't adopt the "generic" state teacher evaluation plan.

"We'll go back to the drawing board with our folks," Dance said.

Dance has until May to present the Maryland State Department of Education with an alternate proposal.

The primary point of contention is that the state department wants the school system to count Maryland School Assessment results as 20 percent of the rating measuring student growth. Baltimore County's plan calls for 10 percent.

"We believe we have a model that works best for us," he said.

Baltimore County's acceptance of federal funds through the Race to the Top Grant awarded to the state mandates the county to tie student growth to the teacher evaluation plan—a factor that was not previously calculated.

Dance's concerns about counting the Maryland School Assessment as 20 percent include the fact that the tests will soon be phased out in favor of The PARCC Assessment under the impending rigorous Common Core State Standards and lagging state assessment data that would result in teachers being evaluated on information more than a year old. But the superintendent adamantly argued that the school system is not looking to shirk accountablity.

"Our position is not to back away," he said.

The state department has permitted the county to continue using the rejected evaluation plan for the remainder of the 2012-2013 year, which served as a pilot year using 50 schools, 500 teachers and 15 principals in the district. Full implementation of an approved plan is slated to begin in the 2013-2014 year.

In the meantime, the superintendent is keeping an eye on legislation currently being proposed in the Maryland General Assembly related to adding another year to the pilot program before making any concrete plans about a new evaluation proposal.

"We're going to wait and see how that pans out," Dance said.

Michael Middleton February 21, 2013 at 05:08 PM
I'm happy that Dr. Dance has come in and is willing to not be just another administrator. There are a few issue which still need watching, but I'm eager to see the improvements that are being proposed.


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