Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Measuring Teacher Effectiveness of Special Education Teachers

While teacher quality is recognized as a critical component in school reform and the pursuit of new teacher evaluation systems has gained national attention, the question of whether proposed teacher assessment models recognize and account for the unique roles and responsibilities of special education teachers has gone largely unnoticed.

The purpose of this article is to (a) provide a review of current efforts to reform practices in teacher assessment, (b) describe recommendations for emerging teacher evaluation systems that accurately distinguish between effective and ineffective teachers, and (c) consider the difficulties of implementing these reform measures in the evaluation of teachers who serve students with disabilities. Important consideration is given to understanding the unique roles and responsibilities of the special educator, as well as the use of observation protocols to evaluate instructional practices in the general and special education setting.

In addition, this article elucidates the difficulties of incorporating valid measures of student performance as a component of the teacher evaluation process for special education teachers. A summary of recommendations for policy makers serves as the conclusion.

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