Data Chats: Not Evaluative…We Swear

Really.  The meeting was not part of my eval.  Mostly because it was useful.

Really. The meeting was not part of my eval. Mostly because it was useful.

Last week, our principal sent an e-mail telling staff that she wanted to speak to each and every staff member about what their periodic assessment data indicated about student progress, pedagogy, effective methods, and areas of focus. In other words, about using the tests we have to give to determine the best way to help students do well on future, more important tests.

Since UTLA’s tentative agreement just passed…the agreement that made student test scores part of our evaluations…many, if not all of the teachers at my school believe that these meetings are suddenly to say “gotcha!” and nail people on test performance. Honestly, the e-mail was sent before the vote was in.

This doesn’t keep paroid from setting in.

I had my meeting today. It was very pleasant. Boss and I sat down, and went over various uber geek charts and graphs I have been making for my own use. She had smart insights on the stats, and made some useful and interesting suggestions.

My colleagues are freaking out to a degree that is truly enviable. Some are attempting to create a written document answering the guiding questions she suggested, others are defying the need to discuss numbers at all. At least two, to my count, think they will be fired instantly at the meeting.

Sad really. We should, as a profession, be able to discuss test performance without having a nervous breakdown.

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