History, Policy, and Practice
This chapter provides a background on laws and policies related to teacher evaluation in the United States. This background might help music teachers navigate teacher evaluation systems and avoid misunderstanding evaluators’ motivations and pressures. First, the chapter provides a brief history of federal and state education law and education policy. This history is presented as a series of four phases, each aimed to standardize public education. These phases move from evaluating standards through student performance and standardized tests to teacher performance and quality through instructional practice. Second, there is an investigation of how history and policy have led to tensions, disagreements, and contradictions within teacher evaluation processes and policies. Finally, the chapter describes how these tensions have resulted in the common characteristics of teacher evaluation systems found throughout the country. By understanding this background and history, music teachers may begin to actively and constructively participate in teacher evaluation.
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