Evaluation for the Purpose of Improvement? What an Idea!

flickr user zcreem

One of the most frustrating aspects of the recent teacher-blaming, test-pushing, charter-happy “reform” effort to me is the complete lack of emphasis on improving the work of teachers.  That’s why I was so excited to read Larry Ferlazzo’s recent piece on the videotaping and formative assessment going on at his school.  He writes:

Our school, led by principal Ted Appel, has begun having Kelly Young, an extraordinarily talented consultant on instructional strategies who we have been working with for years, videotape our lessons (I’ve written much about Kelly in this blog). He then meets with us to review an edited version of the tape, with us initially giving our own critique and reflections followed by his comments. This process is entirely outside of the official evaluation process, and is focused on helping teachers improve their craft.

This is mind-blowingly great stuff, isn’t it?  So, what would it take for something similar to happen in your building?  If you are a school leader, what is keeping you from putting this type of tool in the hands of your teachers?