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Early Ed Watch

A Blog from New America's Early Education Initiative

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Podcast: New Findings on D.C. Schools' Education Reforms

Published:  November 13, 2012
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When Michelle Rhee was chancellor of DCPS, one of her chief accomplishments was negotiating a new contract with the teachers union that included a new teacher evaluation system. The system, called IMPACT, was designed to keep good teachers in the classroom through incentives like merit pay and weed out the bad by giving the district the power to fire teachers who were repeatedly ranked at the bottom.

IMPACT rates teachers on a variety of metrics, from their students' test scores to classroom observations. It has been both controversial and held up by education reformers as a model for how other districts could begin evaluating teachers in a holistic way. In some ways, the methods for observing teachers are similar to those of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), the Danielson Framework for Teaching and other evaluation systems that are catching on in the early childhood world in that it both evaluates teachers and gives them opportunities for feedback and mentoring. 

DC has been using this system since 2009, so two school years have passed since it began. This month, The New Teacher Project released a report that addresses important questions about how the new teacher evaluation system is playing out. In this podcast, Dan Weisberg of The New Teacher Project and Anne Hyslop of the New America Foundation discuss the new report and what it says about the future of the teaching workforce. Maggie Severns hosts.

Click here to listen to the podcast. You can also subscribe to our podcasts in iTunes, and download previous podcasts from our online archive.


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