Abstract and Keywords
While the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) does not explicitly require teacher evaluation, both ESSA and the Higher Education Act (HEA) require states to evaluate teacher quality and effectiveness for reports regarding factors such as educational equity and teacher licensure program evaluation. Moreover, states are heavily invested in evaluating teacher effectiveness, and rhetoric in federal, state, and local governance revolves around eliminating “bad teachers,” so teacher evaluation will continue. Ostensibly, teacher evaluation is intended to increase teacher effectiveness and student achievement. This chapter argues that standardized, high-stakes teacher evaluation reduces music teacher effectiveness, particularly with regard to inclusion and cultural responsiveness. It begins with a brief critical review of the literature on music teacher evaluation, marginalized populations in school music education, and equitable and inclusive practices in the music classroom. It then uses fictionalized vignettes to illustrate an analysis of the cognitive dissonances and perverse incentives inherent in music teacher evaluation and how they manifest in three broad categories: (1) contributing to the gap between theory and practice; (2) misusing measurement tools; and (3) forcing teachers to remain in the status quo, unable to stray from formulaic “markers of effectiveness” to take the risks necessary for the creative, innovative work of inclusion and cultural responsiveness. The chapter concludes with specific suggestions for music teachers who wish to resist these effects of teacher evaluation on their instruction.
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