Last month, we shared a run-through of the work by Maryland and Oklahoma to better prepare principals. When I was teaching first grade, many times I participated in professional development sessions that left me bursting with ideas and excitement but left me unsure about my ability to effectively execute what I had learned the next week in my classroom.
Teachers across the SREB region and the nation are wary of the use of student growth scores in their evaluations. How can they know with certainty that their evaluation score is a reflection of how they taught the students in their class?
In spring 2014-15, 68 percent of Tennessee teachers reported that evaluation improves teaching in their school and 63 percent said it improves student learning. That is a drastic shift from when Tennessee became the first state to implement a statewide, multiple-measure teacher evaluation system that included a major student growth component in 2011-12. How did they get to where they are now?
Many states have focused their efforts to improve schools and student achievement through the primary catalyst for change: teachers and school leadership. They have determined that more comprehensive teacher and leader evaluation systems are the vehicle for this improvement. With a focus on increasing student achievement, what is our purpose in teacher evaluation?
Accelerating improvement was the focus of the Carnegie Foundation Summit I attended on March 2 – 4. Drawing on examples from their own work, education leaders including Commissioner Terry Holliday (KY), Superintendent Lillian Lowery (MD) and Assistant Commissioner Emily Freitag (TN) taught us about the core principles of improvement science: