x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Adec reforms teacher evaluations

Adec says its evaluation of 11,000 teachers in the capital will be more thorough.

ABU DHABI // An upgraded evaluation process for nearly 11,000 teachers will place more emphasis on classroom performance.

Education chiefs have also changed the way evaluators rate the system's 268 school principals, to obtain a detailed profile instead of a blunt score.

"The intention is not to show that the principal is 70 per cent performing. That doesn't mean anything," said Alaeeldin Aly, information management division manager for Abu Dhabi Education Council. "He could be 90 per cent in one skill but 60 or 30 per cent in another skill. That is very important."

Adec evaluated staff performance for the first time last year using an online programme.

Teachers are rated by their principal and a vice principal, while principals and vice principals are rated by "cluster managers" who oversee several schools.

Administrators use the results to prescribe appropriate training, not to punish or fire staff, Mr Aly said.

"The most important goal is to provide the necessary professional development for those who are in need," he added.

For this year's evaluations, "the standards are almost the same" but administrators have revised the skill indicators and rating scales, focusing on classroom performance, Mr Aly said.

Principals must observe each classroom in their school twice - once before February 12 and again by May 24 - a process that existed in the past but has now been formalised.

"For the teacher, there are four standards: proficiency, curriculum, classroom and community," Mr Aly said. "The classroom takes more weight than the others."

A teacher's classroom rating will represent about 40 per cent of their total evaluation.

They will be rated on several indicators of their classroom skills, including engaging students, treating them with respect, giving constructive feedback, creating a safe environment where all children can learn and ensuring pupils use classroom resources, such as technology.

A different system applies to principals and vice principals, who are rated by their school's cluster manager and a cluster manager from a different group of schools.

Last year, evaluators rated principals on five standards, each worth one to four points, Mr Aly said.

"This year, it is from one to 10," he added. "You will be able to locate on a specific scale what is the principal's performance."

vnereim@thenational.ae