By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With political rhetoric not directing enough attention to education, The New York Times in its lead editorial Sunday, aired some important issues.

Many factors have been posited as reasons why the U.S. has dropped so low on global comparisons of student achievement – poverty and funding among them – but the recent focus has been on teaching.

Teacher evaluations often consist of principals’ cursory classroom visits, while high performing teachers who have enormous impact go unidentified and poor teachers just continue.

In Montgomery County, Maryland, more than a decade ago, an evaluation and mentoring program was established in which master teachers are observed, novice teachers are helped with lesson plans and student achievement is taken into account in various ways.

Teacher evaluation takes place after a year of support and there is acknowledgement that test scores, while important, do not reflect the sum total of good teaching. In a few paragraphs, the editorial highlights recent critical thinking on evaluating teachers.

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