How Socrates would fare on new teacher evaluation plan

This is a pretty entertaining piece

The upstart Gates-funded organization Educators 4 Excellence has just put forth a proposal for teacher evaluations in New York City. They would accord 25 percent of the evaluation to student value-added growth data; 15 percent to data from local assessments; 30 percent to administrator observations; 15 percent to independent outside observations; 10 percent to student surveys; and 5 percent to support from the community.

The observations, they say, should follow a rubric. What sort of rubric should this be? The proposal states:

Observations should focus on three main criteria:

1. Observable teacher behaviors that have been demonstrated to impact student learning. For example, open-ended questions are more effective at improving student learning than closed questions.

2. Student behaviors in response to specific teacher behaviors and overall student engagement.

3. Teacher language that is specific and appropriate to the grade level and content according to taxonomy, such as Bloom’s. For example, kindergarten teachers should use different language than high school biology teachers.

Let’s see how Socrates might fare under these conditions. As I recall, he asked a fair number of closed questions. He did this to show his interlocutors a contradiction between what they assumed was true and what they subsequently reasoned to be true.

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