Md. May Change Way Teachers Are Evaluated

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The governor has appointed a council to change the way teachers in Maryland are evaluated and the council says it’s ready to put their new system to work.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains the State Board of Education will give the plan a test run in the fall.

Nothing says school like a report card and some teachers are worried about how they’ll be graded.  The Maryland Department of Education’s place in the race to the top for federal funding depends on reform.  Maryland teachers are about to be schooled on a new system that evaluates their performance largely on the performances of their students.

“It’s not a gotcha instrument.  It’s supposed to be an instrument to improve the craft of teaching and hopefully improve learning,” said Elizabeth Weller, Maryland State Education Association.

The evaluations are evenly split between teacher practices, such as lesson plans and classroom environment–which will be determined by the school principal—and student performance.  Thirty percent will be judged by the state and 20 percent by the school district.  Teachers will be rated as ineffective, effective or highly effective.

Every teacher on the panel voted against it.

“The teachers were upset,” said Weller.

Weller is the vice president of the Maryland State Education Association.  She says those teachers were not permitted to air their concerns.

“We were in the midst of the discussion and then a motion was made to accept the report as it was and when that motion passed, the discussion ended,” Weller said.

But the process is not over.  Seven districts will give it a trial run in the fall and more adjustments will be made.

“It is still a work in progress.  The intent of the document is to improve instruction in the state of Maryland,” Weller said.

It will be two years before the new system is finalized.

The seven pilot districts are Baltimore City and Baltimore County and St. Mary’s, Charles, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Prince George’s Counties.

More from Pat Warren


  • Wheres common sense when you need it

    It is not aways the teachers fault a student fails to preform. Students that do not get the support they need from home will not preform to the standards the government expects them to.Teachers are expected to preform at the highest level while receiving the lowest level of support from the same people that will judge them. Do to budget cuts, schools can’t even meet the basic needs to run a successful school system. Most teachers have to buy supplies out of their own pockets to keep the classroom up to par with the needs of the students. They have to deal with many behavior problems, not only from the the sudents, but from the parents also. The “my kid doesn’t act like that” rules at schools nation wide and teachers get the blame. There are no consequences for sudents that continuely disrupt classrooms which inturn disrupts other students from learning. The consant changing of the tides in government also puts teachers at a disadvantage. What is to be taught this year is totally wrong the next. Add the stress of government cutting their salaries and benefits and blaming them for the budget shortfalls creates an enviroment which quality will not thrive. Teachers have so many restrictions as to what they can, when they can, how they can, to whom they can, they can’t even consentrate on teaching for fear of breaking some kind of rule. Untill they are given a perfect teaching enviroment, its hard to expect them to preform to perfect standards.

    • st dunstands

      no its the teachers big big money and no results

      • Baltimore County Teacher

        You are an idiot! What country do you live in where teachers make big big money? That just goes to show that you must’ve failed economics!

    • Diane King

      what is “preform”?

  • Leah C

    It’s not ALWAYS the students, Comment Sense. When I was in HS (many many moons ago), I had a teacher who told my mother that EVERY student in her class was failing her class (including me). When every single student out of a class of 20-25 kids is flunking, it’s not the kids. It’s the teacher.

  • upnor

    we pay the teachers for what

  • bradhurst

    if the teachers can’t teach teachers shouldn’t get paid


    I think teachers are over paid just like my boss John ladd

  • Anne Gaskill Forrester

    I am soooo glad I no longer teach, having retired 16 years ago. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. The same with children; why aren’t parents held accountable for their children? They have them a lot longer than the school and have much more influence over them.

  • Raibaby

    Wow! These negative comments are horrible. Teachers nowadays get no respect. Granted there are some bad teachers out there but the majority of the teachers out there are wonderful and dedicated to their students. It’s funny how people can be so judgmental when they have never taught or stepped foot into a classroom. It is a very strenuous (yet rewarding) job. People have no idea what teachers go through. Teachers are constantly being criticized by all fronts. Before you open your mouth to put down a teacher, think first on how it must feel to teach 35 to 150 kids a day, While you sit at your cubicles or desks. Teachers are not just high paid babysitters. They are data entry technicians, counselors, mommies, daddies, nurses, lawyers, social workers, etc. They deserve more than your scorn and snarky comments. And on one more note-I feel strongly that if you fix the families then you will fix the schools.

  • Baltimore County Teacher

    “Teachers big big money”??? If that isn’t the biggest idiotic joke on here, I don’t know what else is. What exactly do you think teachers make for educating YOUR children and preparing them for life in the 21st century? Surely, no where near what they should be! Shame on you for saying teachers get BIG money. You obviously have NO CLUE what a teacher really makes, or lack there of!



    • Baltimore County Teacher

      HAHA quite the contrary! Teachers may work Mon – Fri but we also work weeknights and weekends, holidays, and summers grading papers, answering emails, planning lessons, calling parents, entering data and continuing our education (required to keep your cert), and aren’t paid a dime for it. I am a teacher with a BA in Elementary Ed, a MA in Reading and LIteracy and a MA in Leadership, I hold 4 teaching certifcations, am highly qualiified, and I make LESS than $53,000 per year. I not only am required to be part of committes at school, but I also have to plan staff developments AND train my staff on technology-related changes within the county, become familiar with the ever changing curriculum, and make sure all of my studnets special ed, ESOL or not, score proficient on state exams.

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