New Evaluation System Putting Teachers To The Test

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(Memphis) In the classroom, effective teachers are one key to a student's success in learning.              

Mark Sturgis, a father of three kids who also heads the group Stand for Children said, "Parents want the best for their children, they want the best school for their children and they want the best teacher."      

The need to turn average teachers into more effective ones came about after Tennessee was selected two years ago for federal grants from the Race to the Top program and that led to a new evaluation system.

Sturgis said, "There are people in the schools that don't need to be teaching, but that's not the impetus of this work and I have teacher friends and I was a teacher for five years in Memphis City Schools, I know you need some help in the classroom."         

The Teaching Effectiveness Method or TEM critiques teachers on student achievement and classroom observation of instructors, as well.

Some educators say the evaluations show progress in Memphis.

Monica Jordan, MCS Reflective Practice Coordinator, said, "I would say speaking from the Memphis City position, we have made some strides. We have seen some significant gains."

Carla Holloway, MCS Coordinator of Teacher Evaluations and Tenure said, "We want to be able to measure where the teachers are and support them to help them improve."           

Some say better teachers will help pave the way for better students.

Sturgis said, "The result is a better economic situation for our city, resulting in more kids going to college and coming back getting degrees and fulfilling jobs."