Magazine article Technology & Learning

Judgment Day: Time and Again, Research Shows Us That the Single Most Important Factor in Improving a Child's Education Is the Quality of His or Her Teacher. We All Want Our Teachers to Be as Strong as They Can Be, Which Is Where Educator Evaluation Packages Come In

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Judgment Day: Time and Again, Research Shows Us That the Single Most Important Factor in Improving a Child's Education Is the Quality of His or Her Teacher. We All Want Our Teachers to Be as Strong as They Can Be, Which Is Where Educator Evaluation Packages Come In

Article excerpt

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

If your teachers need to beef up their skills, there are hundreds of PD offerings ranging from online chat sessions and courses to professional learning communities. Here are some to get your district started.

Amplify Insight: www.amplify.com/services

ASCD PD Online: www.ascd.org/professional-development.aspx

Atomic Learning: www.atomiclearning.com

blendedschools.net: blendedschools.net

Coursera PD courses: www.coursera.org

Discovery Education: www.discoveryeducation.com/administrators/professional-development/index.cfm

Eduplanet21: www.eduplanet21.com

Edvation's pd21: www.edvation.com/pd21-home

Insight Education Group: www.insighteducationgroup.com

inTASC: Model Core Teaching Standards: www.ccsso.org/documents/2011/intasc_model_core_teaching_standards_2011.pdf

Knowledge Delivery Systems: www.kdsi.org

PBS TeacherLine: www.pbs.org/teacherline

Pearson's myPearson Training: www.mypearsontraining.com

Powerful Learning Practice: plpnetwork.com

School Improvement Network's PD 360: www.schoolimprovement.com

Solution Tree: www.solution-tree.com

STI--Education Data Management Solutions: www.sti-k12.com

Teachscape: www.teachscape.com

Teaching Channel Teams: www.teachingchannel.org

Tech4Learning: www.tech4learning.com

JENNY FROEHLE

Administrator

Zionsville (IN) Community Schools

WHAT PRODUCT(S) DO YOU USE TO EVALUATE YOUR TEACHERS?

"We use Standard for Success (SFS; www.standardforsuccess.com) as our evaluation software. The rubrics and additional measures/weights it contains are based on the Indiana state model for evaluation originally known as RISE," says Froehle.

IS EVALUATING FOR THE COMMON CORE A PART OF THIS EVALUATION TOOL?

"Part of the rubric certainly assesses whether teachers are developing units/lessons based upon standards. Indiana is a Common Core state in transition, so part of the evaluation requires evaluators to make sure teachers are planning with the standards as their foundation."

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU RECEIVE ON HOW TO INTERPRET THE DATA?

"Each evaluator completed a five-session training process that contained some process/procedure on how to gather, value, and interpret data from observations," says Froehle. "We followed this with a two-day administrative retreat largely focused on data collection and actionable feedback as well as clarification of district evaluation procedures and use of the SFS tool. We also did monthly inter-rater reliability practice as a team of 22 evaluators that involved viewing video or scripts from SFS and practicing how we would code them, analyzing aggregated data from observations completed in our district, and discussing conclusions we could draw from them."

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THIS EVALUATION TOOL?

Froehle likes that SFS is easy to use, tailored to her needs, and extremely transparent to teachers, which helped alleviate anxiety throughout the process. "The SFS tool allowed us to manage volumes of data with ease, which was critical in a district with few central office staff. Staff members can set and track goals for student learning data within the tool, and evaluators can approve those goals and assign final ratings for them at the end of the year. Finally, the tool allows us to manage all this data easily and produce simple reports and updates that help us analyze our results and process."

WHAT FEATURES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ADDED?

"I'd like to see a standard tool for recording post-observation conferences coded to the rubric, the ability to add/scroll an artifact and code it, and would like to have a one-button feature that would print a staff member's entire file--including observation scripts/codes/comments, SLO data, and all artifacts in case of a need for printed materials. …

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