Educational policy analysis archives

Educational policy analysis archives

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Educational policy analysis archives
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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 8, no. 28 (June 20, 2000).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c June 20, 2000
Government policy on teacher evaluation in Greece : revolutionary change or repetition of the past? / Michail D. Chrysos.
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v Periodicals.
2 710
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
1 773
t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
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1 of 11 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 8 Number 28June 20, 2000ISSN 1068-2341 A peer-reviewed scholarly electronic journal Editor: Gene V Glass, College of Education Arizona State University Copyright 2000, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES. Permission is hereby granted to copy any article if EPAA is credited and copies are not sold. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education Government Policy on Teacher Evaluation in Greece: Revolutionary Change or Repetition of the Past? Michail D. Chrysos McGill UniversityAbstract After nearly two decades of freedom from ev aluation, teachers in Greece became the focus of a new evaluation system. In 1998, reformers sought to raise the level of student performance by the regulation of teacher performance through a top-down evaluation s ystem administered by the Greek Ministry of Education and Religous Aff airs. The probable effects of this evaluation system on teachers' prof essional roles and development are analyzed.Political and Historical Framework Greece represents a sound example of Cuban' s (1995) argument that educational reforms return again and again. This occurs, he arg ued, because "reforms have failed to remove the problems they intended to solve". For ov er one hundred years, Greece has been characterized by abortive, short-lived educati onal reforms, which have never been implemented for more than a few years, and then wer e abandoned by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (MERA) for having f ailed to bridge rhetoric, design and reality (Persianis, 1998).


2 of 11 Following the restoration of democracy in 1 974, and the entry of Greece into the European Union in 1981, Andreas Papandreou's Social ist Government came to power. His agenda included the designing of new reform pro posals that would accelerate the democratization as well as modernization of the Gre ek educational system. As a member of the E.U., Greece places emphasis on reaching Wes t European standards and innovation. Greek schools, a highly centralized sys tem under the jurisdiction of the MERA, has been following French and German teaching methods "Â… regurgitation of foreign pedagogical thought" (Curtis, 1994; Persian is, 1998). The country is divided into fifteen administrative regions for education, each of which is subdivided into 240 districts (Peripheria), and is headed by evaluators -inspectors who monitor the application of the curriculum. The educational prog rams are directed by provincial and local authorities (Director and Employer of school Offices, one in each province) under the managerial general policy guidelines of the MER A. The latter is composed of all kinds of offices and institutions (Pedagogical Inst itute) that function according to central authority regulations, which motivate, lead, and sp onsor any policies and draft laws, increasing the bureaucratization of schooling at al l levels. It is obviously difficult for those within educational bureaucracies to offer critical policy analyses. In Europe, educational control is governmental (France) or quasigovernmental (Great Britain), and it has been obser ved that educational policy is located within the administrations of liberal or conservati ve parties. In Greece, even minor changes depend on decisions made by the MERA, which reinforces the top-down manipulation of policy decisions. It would not be misleading to say that ther e is no consensus on policy among the major political parties, especially as it relates t o the New Democracy and Panhellenic Socialist Movement. Each party strives to promote i ts own ideological principles and interests rather than to develop on-going goals thr ough mass political organizations or interest groups. The centralized nature of the admi nistrative structure of the Greek Educational System has been challenged through vari ous attempts at "political manipulation" by the governing party elite and the different interests groups (Gouvias, 1998). Moreover, each Minister claims to leave his stamp on any educational reform and ensure his lasting reputation in the history of Gre ek education. An instance of this appeared in June 1996, when the new Minister of Edu cation, G.Arsenis (also a socialist) launched the reform for "Ethniko Apolyterio" (Natio nal Leaving Certificate). He promised to develop school curriculum, to provide i n-service training for teachers, to reestablish a whole hierarchy of evaluators whose m andate would be to monitor and solve problems for the sake of teachers' improvemen t. The new reform was enacted by the passage of legislation, and instituted a politi cally motivated program of Teacher Evaluation. Unfortunately, the reform was announced "suddenly" without previous warning in the summer season (vacation for schools) a typical strategy the Greek state uses to secure legitimacy and reduce resistance. Issues such as appointments, duties, inspe ction, evaluation and so forth, have always been worked out in drafts of legislation. Th e Minister with the cooperation of legislators and executives from the MERA wrote a re form bill, took it to the Parliament, and asked his colleagues to make it law, in a manne r that Wilson (1996) ironically calls "ministerial responsibility." Greek Ministers actio ns reflect the attitude of centralized bureaucracies, which attempt to "secure" their posi tions by law before negotiating among practitioners and taxpayers. Instead, policy agendas must be socially negotiated in a "National debate of education" among all facti ons-the government, policy-makers, and practitioners, whicht in a broad sense facilita te communication in solving problems cooperatively (OECD, 1995).


3 of 11 In the new era of educational reforms, no a rea has received more emphasis than the quality of instruction and those employed to delive r it. Duke (1995) indicated that the key to educational improvement lies Â… in upgrading the quality of teachers"; central to improving the quality of teachers is the teacher ev aluation-inspection-supervision process. The issue then becomes how to refine and c hange the content of the traditional top-down flow of policy. In 1981, the Socialist Government passed La w 1340/82, which abolished the influence of inspectors. Since then, teachers and s chool organizations have been free of inspection. That Law of inspection remained in exis tence until recently, though with no substantial role in enhancing teaching quality. All these years, teachers were being appointed but were never formally evaluated. In thi s policy vacuum, teachers had the unique opportunity to take advantage of their newly found liberties and promote the professionalism of teaching; unfortunately, they di d not avail themselves of this opportunity. On the other hand, the model of a more flex ible evaluation was a great challenge for Greece, which could not suddenly allow the whol e educational system be in a vacuum without internal restrictions and rules. Ref ormers sought to raise the level of students' performance by the regulation of teacher performance. According to the Government Gazette 27/02/98 and the application of Law n.2525/98, the new evaluation policy underlies the top-down evaluation of all par ticipants from researchers, policy makers, evaluators, principals down to teachers. Th e results of these evaluations are to go directly to the Central Offices of MERA. Before analyzing some noteworthy issues as regards that evaluation, it is essential to discuss briefly the role of the government in policy making.The role of the government In Greece, the government is the principal source of funding. It sponsors any kind of policy research through the Pedagogical Institut e. Its agencies are appointed and not elected, and are accountable to the public through the MERA. That situation creates the situation of a "crisis of confidence" (OECD, 1995), because any kind of policy making has the reputation of being fragmented and politici zed, and as a result there is no trust among the stakeholders, either in higher levels of the hierarchy or at the base of school organizations. The social scientists perceive evalu ation and authority as interconnected (Stone, 1988) in a centralized authoritative educat ional system, where there are levels of superiors (evaluators) and subordinates (evaluatees ). The former exercise authority based on the power of law and political skill rather than on interpersonal relations, whereas the latter show compliance with the control system. It is difficult for a single center to cont rol the complex modern educational system. It is for this reason that the centralized system has been criticized for lack of imagination and its "top-heavy" structure in making decisions (OECD, 1995). The needs of the government and of the practitioners cannot b oth be met. When one political party leaves office, it is replaced by another, which has different views and priorities. Furthermore, "clientelism" pe rvades Greek education--the belief that the criteria for appointment of teachers, eval uators and other employers or employees are usually political following the wellknown "rousfeti" (personal favors by politicians to clients). Stone (1988) correctly arg ued that policy making tends to be essentially political and involves a struggle over ideas, implying that the development of policy has not followed a linear, rational model, b ut a model of differentiation. In this model, experts and policy makers generate and bring knowledge into theories, which,


4 of 11later on, teachers use and practice. Political part ies with strong and consistent ideology as in Greece have stopped holding consultative me etings with teachers unions; they are convinced that they know what to do without consult ing teachers.Why the restoration of evaluation is so important The current policies represent the first ti me that the MERA has paid so much attention to evaluating-supervising instruction, te aching and especially teacher appropriateness for school productivity. It is note worthy that with the present policy everybody is being evaluated--from principals to em ployers of educational offices, directors, and inspectors-consultants. It is a topdown, multidimensional hierarchical form of evaluation. However, teachers are the focal group who are being evaluated and self-evaluated from multiple directions from higher levels (See Figure 1). Figure 1. The Evaluation Pyramid


5 of 11 The only exception occurs at the top of th e pyramid of evaluation, BPE (Body of Permanent Evaluators), whose members will not be ev aluated but are elected by the MERA through public competition. The enabling legis lation underlying this policy does not mention the qualifications of the personnel who will occupy this level of the evaluation system. At the highest level there is th e Committee of Evaluation of School Organizations (CESO) which "supervises, controls an d coordinates the functions of BPE and school consultants" (Law, 2525/98, article 5, F EK 188A' & Contemporary Education, 1997). Evaluation is a significant tool in control ling what is going on in schools and it seeks to promote the self-development of teachers a nd the quality of their instruction. The type of evaluation that the new law in Greece p roposes is twofold. It includes both a formative evaluation element, which is based on the "art of teaching" (Barber & Klein, 1984, pp.96-97) and emphasizes teacher performance and process of instruction, and a summative evaluation element, which is grounded on both processes and products of instruction. In fact, evaluation should empower tea chers to use teaching methods that will benefit students' learning. It is not suggeste d that teacher evaluation be implemented in isolation, but rather in combination with other school improvement initiatives. However, the question that arises is whether the cr iteria of evaluation reflect international, national, regional and local needs o f education. The general issues of the new policy remain the same across the country, but seemingly they are flexible to adjust to the local needs. In Greece, the main contributors to evaluat ion theory and methodology have been academics and educational researchers – like those in BPE and CESO—working under the directive guidelines of the "political center." The same happens in a variety of countries such as the United States of America, whe re evaluations are conducted by specialized external evaluators (Wilcox, 1989). The y produce standard questionnaires that any level of employees dealing with quantitati ve outcomes must complete, instead of conferring or advising teachers. In this respect the new reform appears to be a "non reform," inasmuch as it repeats and re-establishes anachronistic procedures, mainly those that move the government to the position of the emp loyer, and the teachers to the position of employees in an atmosphere lacking mutu al trust and collaboration. On a positive note, the new system is the f irst time that teachers have the chance to evaluate themselves, though I am not convinced to w hat extent it will be a positive experience nor how powerful will be the final repor ts sent to the higher levels of official evaluation system. Undoubtedly, self-evaluation rep resents an innovation, since it affects the local community and the teachers of each school who will have, first, their own rules in the policy of self-evaluation, to solve th eir own problems, and secondly, a reasonable degree of autonomy (Law D2/1938/2602-9 8).Who are the evaluators and what is their role? One of the most noteworthy features of the new hierarchical policy of evaluation is the creation of two types of evaluator, the Interna l (principals, directors, employers, inspectors, and consultants) and the External (BPE, CESO). In Britain and the USA, internal evaluation employs people who are not memb ers of the evaluated institutions, rather they are specialists with the mandate to che ck on the use of public funds and insure that information be forwarded to the central government. They are experienced professionals who make formal and informal visits t o school organizations to interpret (statistically) those organizations. Are these find ings trustworthy, however? It is worth mentioning that, paradoxically, in 1927, more than seventy years ago,


6 of 11Considering evaluation as a sort of "investigation, teachers can subjectively determine their standards, wants, desires and present their f indings, and offer feedback for themselves and others. Because they are concerned a bout students and tasks of teaching as well, they reflect upon leadership and accountab ility for instructional and personal growth. Evaluators bring their own objective lists with questions that represent a standardized measurement of teacher performance bas ed on complex sets of explicit and implicit standards and on teaching theory rather th an on realities of classroom life. The evaluator must be a person who uses "judgment as a tool, works to make sense of a particular school" (Wilson, 1995). In opposition, e ven though supervisors should be the instrument of decentralization, they should draw th e connective chain from local to central authority, and give the final statement reg arding the quality of a school. The new Greek evaluation system delegates a uthority to principals who, instead of advising and organizing instruction, can now contro l and set realistic expectations in achieving teaching objectives. Assuredly, that chan ge is based on the lack of internal evaluators who could be engaged full-time in observ ing school life. In the meantime, it seems that the government intends to supplement the abolition of tenure by removing incompetent teachers from classrooms. In regards to the new policy, principals assume the authority to reject or alter teachers' goals, w hile evaluating teacher development within a general infrastructure. My argument is twofold. On the one hand, p rincipals consider their buildings as private territories regardless of teachers' opinion about their effectiveness to act as educational leaders. The question remains: Do princ ipals have the appropriate skills to evaluate and supervise the teaching staff, even tho ugh they primarily identify themselves with a political party? Furthermore, how could the validity of evaluation be secured where there are personal disparities and difference s? (Contemporary Education, 1997, pp.150). Finally, how can the whole school organiza tion function in harmony and be productive within such an environment? Multiple eva luation presupposes more data and more opportunities to corroborate findings.Evaluation and Evaluators from Teachers' Perspectiv e Teachers are of the opinion that "evaluatio n does not represent an external consideration of school reality but an internal one by people who are involved" (OLME, 1997; Duke, 1995). They want to set their own prior ities on what knowledge would be most useful to their enterprises, and to strengthen a new professionalism, since teachers themselves would contribute with their own criteria in evaluation process (with emphasis on Self-Evaluation). Yet teachers require participating and planning for their individual students at the level of the Center of D ecision (MERA). Such ambitions might change teachers' behavior and sense of accoun tability, and most important change their image and opinion of evaluation coming from h igher to lower levels. Teachers need to have confidence in the imp artiality and competence of evaluators because the latter "are reluctant to use objective measures since they tend to face teachers as inadequate" (Barber & Klein, 1984). Usu ally teachers feel overloaded with both teaching responsibilities and episodes of eval uation-supervision that bring about frustration, conflict and pressure which in turn in crease teacher stress and burnout. If evaluators adopt a new, more collegial, class-cente red style rather than their office/authority-based manner in assisting teachers to define their instructional intent, autonomy will not be undermined and stress will be reduced (Goens & Knciejezyk, 1981).


7 of 11 Moreover, teachers complain about the lack of cooperation with senior administrative offices, which assume a different ap proach to education. They provide practical considerations about how evaluation may b e carried out, and stress the importance for evaluators of living the reality of schooling every day. On the other hand, the academic and research communities start out wit h policies that represent politically attractive solutions. Duke (1995) claimed that "the initial impetus for changes has tended to come from political and theoretical-based rather then professional school-based demands and needs" (p.155). Politicians are so out of touch with the reality of schools that sometimes they do not even know if their polic ies are bad or if their goals are too abstract (Wilson, 1995). People whose work is cruci al for the improvement of teaching and learning increasingly become disengaged from th e hard work of improving schools because others outside their workplace decide what the policies are going to be. By all accounts, teachers, individually and through their associations (unions) resist policies they do not understand. When a new idea is introduced, resistance is the common reaction. Teachers are familiar and comforta ble with prior procedures, because they know what to do. The unknown, unfamiliar can b e frightening, since it will be analytically investigated and reviewed. The more co mplex and uncertain the policy-legitimate implications are, the more likely teachers will need information and insights into what evaluation is doing and what it achieves. Conflicts can be identified and discussed, while superiors and subordinates wil l have a wider range of options from which to choose and will become wiser from the effo rt of choosing (OLME, 1997). Conclusion Will Greece continue to appoint official ev aluators based on political interests rather than on the past performance or qualificatio ns of candidates? Will the inspector-supervisor-consultant-principal become an independent professional (school person) or will he remain a governmental technocrat ? Whatever the outcome, it is imperative that the public know what schools are do ing, and judge whether they are doing it well. It is important for schools to be mo nitored, to reveal bad practitioners, bad practice, and bad teachers. Furthermore, all the in terest groups must show an increased sense of accountability, and work in a collaborativ e environment with explicit standards. Government agencies are usually free from b lame, while the achievement of a policy is placed primarily on the backs of practiti oners-teachers. The evaluation process must be divided not in form, as occurs now, but in essence. Local policies should promote and facilitate the diffusion of innovations and initiatives from all people who are involved with education. We can no longer rely on bureaucratic mechanisms, on regulations in law that hinder change or on complex standards that force narrow definitions of effectiveness. Schools will change w hen we change our thinking about them (Wilson, 1995).ReferencesCuban, L. (1990). Reforming again, again and again. Educational Researcher 19(1), 3-13.Curtis, G., E. (1994). Greece, a country study.


8 of 11Dornbusch, S., M. & Scott, W., R. (1975). Evaluatio n and the exercise of authority (1 st Ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers ( pp.13 4-150). Duke, D., L. (1995). Teacher evaluation policy: Fro m accountability to professional development. Albany: State University of New York P ress. Goens, A. & Kuciejczyk, J. (1981). Supervisors, do they induce or reduce teacher stress? NASSP Bulletin 65(12), 24-27. Gouvias, D. (1998). Comparative issues of selection in Europe: The case of Greece. Education Policy Analysis Archives 6(4), (entire issue). Available online at Gazette (27/02/98): Evaluation of instruction and teachers: The new reform [in Greek], Legislative Degree 2525/98, 1340/82. Kotsikis, E. (1993). Administration and management in Education. Athens: Ellyn [in Greek].Merit pay and Evaluation (1984). [ Merit pay and teacher evaluation by Barber, L., W. &.Klein, K., pp.93-97] and [ Evaluators of instruction by Bellon, J., pp.210231]. Bloomington, Ind.: Phi Delta Kappa, Center on Evalu ation, Development and Research. OECD, (1995). Decision making in 14 education systems. Periodical of Contemporary Education (1997), p.10-13, 151-157. [In Greek]. Periodical of OLME ( National Union of teachers in Greece) (June-August 1997). [In Greek].Persianis, P. (1998). "Compensatory legitimation" i n Greek educational policy: an explanation for the abortive educational reforms in Greece in comparison with those in France. Comparative education 34(1), 7184. Pfeiffer, I., L. (1982). Supervision of teachers: A guide to improving instr uction Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press. Reavis, C., A. (1977). A test of the clinical super vision model Journal of educational research, 70(6), 311-315. Schonberger, V., L. (1983). The effective supervisi on, coordination and improvement of the instructional activities of prof. Colleagues Education, 103(2), 129-131. Silins, H., C. (1994). Leadership characteristics a nd school improvement Australian journal of education, 38(3), 266-281. Stone, D. (1988). Policy paradox and political reason. N.Y.: Harper Collins Publishers. Wilcox, B. (1989). Inspection and its contribution to practical evaluation. Educational


9 of 11 research, 31(3), 163-175. Wilson, T., A. (1996). Reaching for a better standard: English school insp ection and the dilemma of accountability for American public schoo ls New York: Teachers College Press.About the AuthorMichail D. ChrysosDepartment of Educational Studies (Curriculum and I nstruction) Faculty of EducationMcGill UniversityGraduate Studies OfficeDuggan House 2043724 McTavish StreetMontreal, QC, H3A-1Y2 E-mail: In 1995, I received my BA in Ancient and Modern Gre ek Literature from the Department of Greek Philology of the University of Athens. In September 1998, after two years of teaching experience in a Preparatory S econdary School in Greece, I was accepted for the degree of Master in Education in C urriculum and Instruction in the Faculty of Education at McGill University. My main academic interests lie in the area of contemporary issues of curriculum development and i mprovement, qualitative research methods in education, and the relationship between literacy and learning.Copyright 2000 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 8 5287-0211. (602-965-9644). The Commentary Editor is Casey D. C obb: .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin Greg Camilli Rutgers University John Covaleskie Northern Michigan University Alan Davis University of Colorado, Denver Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Richard Garlikov Thomas F. Green Syracuse University


10 of 11 Alison I. Griffith York University Arlen Gullickson Western Michigan University Ernest R. House University of Colorado Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Calgary Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Dewayne Matthews Western Interstate Commission for HigherEducation William McInerney Purdue University Mary McKeown-Moak MGT of America (Austin, TX) Les McLean University of Toronto Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington Anne L. Pemberton Hugh G. Petrie SUNY Buffalo Richard C. Richardson New York University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Dennis Sayers Ann Leavenworth Centerfor Accelerated Learning Jay D. Scribner University of Texas at Austin Michael Scriven Robert E. Stake University of Illinois—UC Robert Stonehill U.S. Department of Education David D. Williams Brigham Young UniversityEPAA Spanish Language Editorial BoardAssociate Editor for Spanish Language Roberto Rodrguez Gmez Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico Adrin Acosta (Mxico) Universidad de J. Flix Angulo Rasco (Spain) Universidad de Teresa Bracho (Mxico) Centro de Investigacin y DocenciaEconmica-CIDEbracho Alejandro Canales (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma Ursula Casanova (U.S.A.) Arizona State Jos Contreras Domingo Universitat de Barcelona


11 of 11 Erwin Epstein (U.S.A.) Loyola University of Josu Gonzlez (U.S.A.) Arizona State Rollin Kent (Mxico)Departamento de InvestigacinEducativa-DIE/ Mara Beatriz Luce (Brazil)Universidad Federal de Rio Grande do Sul-UFRGSlucemb@orion.ufrgs.brJavier Mendoza Rojas (Mxico)Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicojaviermr@servidor.unam.mxMarcela Mollis (Argentina)Universidad de Buenos Humberto Muoz Garca (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicohumberto@servidor.unam.mxAngel Ignacio Prez Gmez (Spain)Universidad de Daniel Schugurensky (Argentina-Canad)OISE/UT, Simon Schwartzman (Brazil)Fundao Instituto Brasileiro e Geografiae Estatstica Jurjo Torres Santom (Spain)Universidad de A Carlos Alberto Torres (U.S.A.)University of California, Los


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