Couple of interesting articles

First up is an article in the Orlando Sentinel about the implementation of new teacher evaluations, Teachers: New evaluation system ‘artificial,’ ‘frustrating,’ ‘humiliating’.

High-school chemistry teacher Steve Fannin was honored recently in Washington, D.C., as one of the nation’s best math and science educators.

Fannin, a 31-year veteran of Tallahassee schools, has mastery of his subject and “exemplary” classroom skills, according to the judges of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Yet when Fannin was evaluated under Florida’s new teacher-assessment system, the results weren’t so impressive.

A mid-year evaluation identified him as a “beginning” teacher.

Despite the hard-hitting opening, the story gets softer later as some folks feel that the evaluations are a positive tool that will smooth out over time. The apparent problem is that Florida rushed into this new system much too fast without allowing time for training and such. What do you think?

The second story is a summary of a study that shows getting parents involved even just a little bit in STEM education can have a big impact on their children. Parents Are an ‘Untapped Resource’ to Push STEM, Study Says.

“The pipeline leading students toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [STEM] begins leaking in high school, when some students choose not to take advanced mathematics and science courses,” the study says. “It is essential to mobilize all potential resources for motivating adolescents to take courses that will best prepare them for their future.”

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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