Majority of Missouri teachers dislike current evaluation tools

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COLUMBIA — A recent survey found over 51 percent of Missouri teachers "do not believe the tool (the current evaluation system) is an effective, accurate and fair method for teacher evaluations."

According to the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA), "Many Missouri school districts revised their evaluation systems based on the principles adopted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education."

More than 2,500 teachers were surveyed from school districts across the state.

Of the teachers surveyed, over 41 percent of them had been teaching for more than 15 years. 

Susie Adams, a history teacher at Battle High School and president of the Columbia Chapter of MSTA, said it is important for teachers to ask their administrators what they're being evaluated on if they are confused. She also thinks it is important for the district to do its part to train its teachers.

"A school district, in general, needs to do some in-service. They need to teach their teachers this new tool. They need to show them the new tool and talk about it. They need to be specific about how they're evaluating their teachers and what they're looking for," Adams said. "Just like we would with our students, they need to know what we are looking for."

There are quite a few methods of evaluation for teachers brought up in the survey. There were six commonly used evaluation methods and some districts use hybrid methods.

According to the survey, "61 percent self-reported their district is using the NEE (Network for Educator Effectiveness - developed by the University of Missouri), 17.2 percent are using DESE (Missouri Educator Evaluation System), 8.4 percent are not sure which model their district is using, 6.7 percent are using a Hybrid Model (the district developed their own evaluation system aligned with the seven Essential Principles), 2 percent are using Robert Marzano's model and 2 percent are using TalentEd (also a DESE model)."

MSTA said, "One of the key components of the new evaluation model is for administrators to provide specific suggestions, techniques or resources to improve instruction."

Approximately 63 percent of the people who responded to the survey said their administrator is providing helpful feedback. MSTA said the issue is that leaves 37 percent of teachers without steps they can take to improve. 

[Editor's Note: The story was edited to fix a spelling error in the first paragraph.]