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Grading how school districts rate their teachers

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A new report suggests school districts in Michigan are not doing a good job of evaluating their teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom. A state law passed in 2011 requires districts to evaluate teachers, and rate them as highly effective, effective, minimally effective, or ineffective.

Education Trust-Midwest looked at teacher ratings in 10 school districts. Sarah Lenhoff is the report’s author. She says the vast majority of teachers were rated in the top two categories. “Less than one percent were rated in the bottom two categories, ineffective and minimally effective. And only about .2 percent were rated ineffective, the bottom category.” Lenhoff says the glowing teacher ratings don’t tell the full story. “We feel like these numbers are unlikely to be an accurate representation of performance, especially given Michigan’s very low student performance and falling rank on national assessments.”

A spokesman for Michigan’s largest teachers’ union says  Michigan has great teachers, and it should come as no surprise that the vast majority are rated effective.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Radio’s Director of Enterprise & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.
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