Thursday, August 29, 2013

New MA Evaluation System: The First Eval Meeting

I continue to study and analyze the new Massachusetts' Educator Evaluation System.  Why?

I study this system because I believe it has the potential to set the stage for student and educator success, for building better schools.

Yet, the system is complex, wordy, and time-consuming. We don't want it to become a system that serves itself rather than a system that serves students.

Hence as I read and study, I continue to look for ways to streamline the efforts--make the actual work simpler so that most educators' time is spent on targeted, engaging efforts to teach children well.

With that in mind, I created a "first meeting" template--a template to guide an educator's first meeting with their evaluator. As educators and evaluators, do you think this template is complete and correct--what would you add or possibly delete?  Let's help each other with this process.

I also created a list of questions that I think educators should be mindful of as they start the new school year and either embark on this evaluation system for the first time or continue for a second round:

  • Will you be evaluated with the new system this year, and if so what is your timeline for initial meetings and formative/summative assessments?
  • Who is your evaluator and supervising evaluator?  In many cases this is the same person.
  • Are you defined as a "caseload educator" or "classroom teacher" with regard to this process?
  • Have you looked at the rubrics you'll be assed by? Do you know how to locate those?
  • Are you nontenured or a teacher with an improvement plan? If so, seek the consult of your union representatives and the contract language to guide your efforts.

There's so much to take in with regard to this new system including the contract language, rubrics, timelines, evidence and more. The greater attention that teachers give to the system upfront, the better able we'll be able to streamline our efforts with success.