Digitized Judgment: The Seductions of Teacher Evaluation Technologies

By Helen M. Hazi.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Teacher evaluation has become the national avenue for improving teacher effectiveness, without research to indicate its link to teacher quality and its improvement or to student test scores and learning. New technologies of teacher evaluation have been adopted by states in the rush to receive R2T funds and waivers before the 2014 NCLB deadline, even though they are unproven for improving teacher quality. Entrepreneurs sell convincing narratives on the merits of teacher evaluation technologies, appealing to the time-challenged administrator, the professional status-seeking teacher, and the politically pressured state policymaker. These claims, however, represent a Catch 22—they seduce, but limit judgment about teaching. They result in “digitized judgment,” i.e. judgment fit to a computer. Technologies of two of the more popular systems (Danielson & Marzano) provide examples of claims such as: 24/7 access, unobtrusive, easy to use, cutting edge technology transforms and provides courage, easy to change behavior, and the system judges. This paper examines the seductive claims of teacher evaluation technologies that will influence the next decade of public school education and the continued learning of in-service teachers.

Keywords: Teacher Evaluation, Technology, Digitized Judgment

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.57-67. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 441.088KB).

Dr. Helen M. Hazi

Professor, Educational Leadership Students in the College of Education, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA

Helen M. Hazi is a professor of Educational Leadership and currently writes about teacher evaluation and expert judgment about teaching. She has written about legal issues that have consequence for supervision in such journals as Educational Leadership, Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, ERS Spectrum, Education Policy Analysis Archives, and the Kappan. She has been an English teacher, curriculum specialist, research assistant, central office supervisor, and an expert witness on various personnel issues.