As I may or may not have mentioned before, I get an e-mail full of news stories compiled by the NBPTS. Today's features a couple of stories about different attempts to do just that.
First up, from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a story about Pittsburgh Public Schools. They have developed and tested a system of teacher evaluation. It includes a rubric with 4 ranks: unsatisfactory, basic, proficient, and distinguished, and 12 criteria in four categories: "planning and preparation," "professional responsibilities," "the classroom environment," and "teaching and learning." The article does not say what the criteria are, alas. I'll poke around on the Internet tubes and see if PPS has posted it somewhere for public consumption. The article cites Research-Based Inclusive System of Evaluation. as the source of their rubric, so I'll look into that, as well. The article says that the teachers involved and the teachers' union both have nice things to say about the system. The chief of performance management, Jody Spolar, cites this as a way of talking about the teaching profession.
Second, the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium has a draft of what they're calling the Model Core Teaching Standards, described on their website as "a set of principles of effective teaching." They break their 10 standards into 4 groups, as well--"The learner and learning," "content knowledge," "instructional practice," and "professional responsibility."
Both systems tie into both Danielsen's classification of a teacher's professional obligations. It also reminded me of Marzano's "common language of instruction." In 2010, we're still talking about what makes a good teacher. But at least we're having the conversation.