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District could change teacher evaluation tool

A report shows that teachers and principals favor using a different framework as an evaluation tool.

Superintendent Michelle Reid presented results from a teacher evaluation project at the June 4 school board meeting.

Reid said a group — comprised of principals, teachers and staff — had overseen the implementation of the teacher evaluation project.

“Several years ago, SKSD was one of the first districts who jumped into the teacher evaluation process to help work out the ‘bugs’ on a variety of systems,” said Reid.

She said when the Marzano framework was selected, it had been “completely flushed out.”

“After working with it for two years, teachers and principals feel it is not as helpful,” Reid said.

She said under the Marzano framework, all areas of instruction are listed in under one criteria.

“If a teacher is on a focus evaluation and does choose that criteria, it’s really hard to focus on the instruction,” said Reid.

Reid’s report stated the South Kitsap Education Association and principals indicated interest in researching another framework that would be more user-friendly and understandable while maintaining the integrity of the Teacher/Principal Evaluation Project (TPEP) process.

The University of Washington’s Center of Educational Leadership (CEL) was the other framework that was seriously considered when Marzano was adopted.

“The CEL has instruction pieces in each of their criteria,” Reid said. “That was a big change that both our principals and teachers like. They also like that it included student behavior.”

After considering many aspects of the CEL framework, the team determined that it is in the best interest  of teachers and principals to recommend moving from Marzano to CEL in the 2014-15 school year based on the following:

• Instructional practice is embedded throughout the framework rather than focused in one criterion.

• The language is more easily understood by teachers and principals.

• Language is focused on student response to instruction.

• There is clear, specific language describing how to move from ‘1’ to ‘2’ to ‘3’ to ‘4’.

• Distinguished descriptions are specific to each element in the rubric so a score of ‘4’ is more easily identified.

• Calibration between principals in the same or different schools will be more easily attained because of clear language and specific observables

• There are both teacher and student observables for each score.

• Assessment and content knowledge language are detailed.

• Language is less repetitive

• The framework is tied closely to Pro Teach

In its work, the group recognized that any change, even when positive, is difficult. The following points were noted to address anxiety around changing the framework:

• The eight-state criteria remain constant.

• The student growth component does not change.

• Main concepts are universal.

• The evaluation cycle remains the same.

• The process does not change.

• There are no changes in contractual obligations other than the name of the framework.

The next steps after the approval of the recommendation will be:

• Update evaluation forms and goal setting forms

• Communications change including the CEL. framework rubrics to SKEA members and principals before the end of this school year.

• Provide teacher and principal training before the beginning of next school year.

• Update language in CBA.

 

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