Several years ago, the district initiated a parent feedback survey designed to respond to parents’ request for a chance to comment on the performance of their children’s teachers prior to tenure. Limitations associated with both the design of the survey and the subsequent feedback loop have been identified by the administration, PT Council, and Scarsdale Teachers Association alike. Thus, beginning in December 2017, the survey was changed to incorporate revisions designed to improve the quality of the survey. While in the past the survey was anonymous, anonymous surveys do not promote the kind of direct dialog that we believe is in the best interest of all parties, so we also made a change to require that participants provide their name.
It should also be noted that the parent survey should not be the first place a specific concern or complaint about a teacher is raised. Such concerns should be raised by the parent with the teacher first, and, if necessary, follow the “chain of command” according to Board policy and existing practices. Please visit the Scarsdale Parent-Educator Partnership Guide on the PTC website for more details about the collaboratively-developed protocol for raising questions and concerns with your child’s teachers. Furthermore, the survey questions are grounded in standards that we use to assess teacher quality and growth, known as the Danielson Framework for Teaching. Parent-educator partnership is one of many complex areas of teaching performance described in the Framework, and represents a small but important subcomponent of the whole.
How is the feedback be shared?
The results of the survey are compiled and shared with each educator’s supervisor(s) and/or administrator(s). For example, for a high school English teacher, the survey results will be anonymized (commentor's name removed), then made available to the department chair, along with the building principal and assistant principals. These individuals will meet to discuss what the feedback reveals and how to share this feedback with the probationary teacher. The department chair, assistant principal, or principal will have the responsibility of reviewing the results with the probationary teacher, and together they will reflect on the feedback. Patterns that emerge in the survey will be explored in constructive ways with the teacher and will be folded into the overall picture of that teacher’s practice.
Click here to learn more about the tenure process, and to view a list of probationary and part time teachers.