School Teacher Career Development

Education Administrators Associates
Consultation and Resource for Educators
Education Administrators Associates was initiated by Dr. John Brownridge, an educator and school principal with extensive knowledge and expertise in the field of Education, and experience in both North America and the United Kingdom. EAA's objective is to offer resource, assistance, and consultation to professional educators in the English-speaking world.

A variety of issues of interest and concern to educators will be presented and considered in this blog on a weekly basis. All educators, whether teachers, administrators or consultants, are invited to comment on the Contacts Page.

None of us can be experts in every field. Yet, as teachers we are expected to be knowledgeable on a whole range of topics, especially those that relate directly or indirectly to education. The parents of our students frequently have questions and concerns about curriculum, special programs, and new innovations they have heard about through news media. Our colleagues, friends and acquaintances may seek explanations and definitions. It is in our own interest to have a cursory knowledge of issues outside our areas of expertise, and to be capable of providing some insight into a variety of educational topics.

This weekly blog will explore many educational topics. Please check in on a regular basis, and do feel free to submit your comments and questions on the Contacts Page. As teachers, we have a wealth of experience to share.

John Brownridge

This Week

Standards of Evaluation in Education

Educational evaluation in North America has been greatly influenced over the past twenty-five years by the work of the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE). This coalition of American and Canadian educators, first formed in 1975, sought to improve the quality of evaluation by developing and publishing standards for use in a variety of educational settings. These standards are intended to be guidelines for educators so that appropriate evaluation instruments can be designed, implemented and assessed, according to specific educational needs. JCSEE provides standards of evaluation for three major educational applications: Personnel, Program, and Students.

The evaluation of teachers has been approached from a number of different standpoints. In many jurisdictions, the responsibility for teacher evaluation has been given to principals and the format is usually in terms of stated objectives, self evaluation and joint identification of potential growth areas. JCSEE standards require that all evaluation of personnel, regardless of the format, must be conducted legally and ethically, and with due regard for the welfare of those being evaluated. The format may be organized in a variety of ways but it must be informative in that it provides clear directions for growth and improvements. Needless complication should be avoided and the evaluation process itself should be relatively simple and efficient. The standards also require accuracy. Information must be technically accurate and final statements and conclusions must relate logically to the observations that have made and discussed.

The evaluation of educational programs is necessarily linked to the kinds of results obtained and a number of factors must be considered in making a useful assessment. This may involve an examination of the materials or texts being used, the funding available for necessary supplies and equipment, and the program’s stated objectives. JCSEE standards call for a realistic and prudent evaluation that will be useful to personnel who are responsible for the program’s successful implementation. These standards also caution on a subjective approach to program evaluation and the effects it will have on both students and teachers. For example, what features determine worth or merit, and what constitutes a valuable or useful educational program?

Student evaluation has always been the domain of teachers and continues to be so. Parents expect a full assessment of student achievement and progress on a regular basis and they usually want to know how their children perform in relation to others of the same age. The format of student evaluation may vary from one state to another, but all involve some form of parent-teacher discussion and a comparison of individual performance with the general curriculum expectations. Evaluation standards provided by JCSEE require accurate statements with due respect to the individual rights of those involved. In particular, all evaluative statements must be culturally, socially, and politically appropriate. The purpose of student evaluation is to encourage growth and improvement and any evaluation instrument used must reflect this.

Evaluation is an essential part of academic, social, and intellectual growth and it is important that all evaluative instruments be chosen carefully. JCSEE standards provide a useful guideline to professional educators while ensuring a level of consistency across a wide spectrum in North American education. The continued development and assessment of evaluative procedures can only benefit from this.

John Brownridge

Next Week

Strategies and Forms of Education for the Gifted