As New Jersey public schools get ready for next school year’s newly mandated teacher-evaluation system, a majority of them are opting to use a system created by a Princeton-based firm.
Close to 60 percent of nearly 500 school districts have chosen models scripted by the Danielson Group of Princeton, according to preliminary results reported yesterday by the state Department of Education.
The picks were hardly surprising, as the group’s namesake, Charlotte Danielson, has dominated the teacher-evaluation arena for the last several years in New Jersey, if not nationwide.
Still, it speaks to the power and popularity of the Princeton-based consultant’s way of measuring teacher effectiveness, an approach split into different “domains” pertaining to teacher planning, pedagogy and leadership.
“It’s been around a long time, and gone through several iterations, and certainly proved strong for us,” said Brian Osborne, superintendent of South Orange/Maplewood schools, which have used the Danielson model for several years.
“It is very teacher-friendly and has a real good orientation to what teaching and learning looks like,” said Osborne, who also chairs the statewide advisory committee on teacher evaluation.
The state’s results are preliminary, with 15 percent of districts still not reporting their choice of evaluation instruments in compliance with this week’s deadline, which is included in the state’s new tenure law that required districts to have evaluation instruments chosen by the start of this calendar year and in place for the start of the next school year in September.
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