Charlotte Danielson wrote a book. An important one. And now all of New York City has changed how it evaluates teachers: the Danielson Framework.
Gone are the days when teachers in public schools received just satisfactory or unsatisfactory ratings. Although there are twenty-eight criteria in four domains in the Danielson Framework, teachers are currently scored on eight of those criteria. Also gone are the days when teachers with tenure are not observed: in a typical year, teachers have an option of four ways to be observed (a combination of formal/informal observations and the number of times). The flexibility in observations depends upon the previous year’s rating. Generally teachers have an average of four observations, but it can range from 3-6 observations in an academic year.
If you ask me, I think the Danielson Framework for Classroom Teaching is a wonderful way to assess teachers and classrooms. The framework has four domains. The first domain is “Planning and Preparation”, and teachers are allowed to provide artifacts and samples of their work to prove that they are well-planned and prepared for their lessons and that their lessons are aligned to the Common Core standards. The second domain is “Creating a Classroom Environment”, which discusses how teachers should create a classroom that is open, warm, and lively. This domain also explains how students should be motivated and take pride in their own work. The third domain, “Instruction,” references the quality of teaching that goes on in the classroom, including level of discussion, questioning techniques, and higher-order thinking. The last domain, “Professional Responsibilities,” discusses continuing teacher education, communication with parents, collaboration with staff, and other professional obligations.
Charlotte Danielson’s keynote speech is filmed in Reno, Nevada on September 24, 2013.
By Stephanie Spector, Learning Specialist