In almost all schools in this country, teachers are evaluated primarily by principals who observe instruction (“What Knowledge Do Principals Need?” Education Week, Oct. 16). But I’ve long questioned if this is the best way to do so.
Unless principals are certified in the subject being taught, how can they know if teachers know their subject? For example, does a principal understand the use of the subjunctive in Spanish when observing a lesson on that topic? If not, the teacher could be providing incorrect information to students even though the teacher uses correct pedagogy.
I submit that the fairest and most accurate way of evaluating teachers is peer review. Teachers who are certified in the subject being observed are in a far better position to assess instruction. Although tradition dies hard in education, and principals are reluctant to yield on this matter, I believe my proposal is worth considering.
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