Friday, August 23, 2013

Streamline Educator Evaluation Systems

As I think about the new Massachusetts' educator evaluation system, I want to promote streamlined efforts.  To streamline these efforts means that more time, money, and energy will be preserved for efforts that directly impact students in positive ways.

How can these systems be streamlined.

I suggest the following.
  • Provide educators with professional development time and materials at the start of the year for self reflection and goal writing. During this time educators choose from a menu of options including self study, guided study, and focus groups as a way to learn and interact with the new system. 
  • Administrators decide on system-wide evidence and evaluation document system.  It should be a simple-to-use, streamlined, cost-effective system. 
  • Plan early year meeting with each evaluator and educator team.  During those meetings identify and discuss the following:
    • educator goals.
    • educator evidence quantity and types and evidence collection vehicle (notebook, online venue. . .)
    • educator's evaluation timeline and expectations.
    • educator's certification or re-certification timeline and plan. Evaluator signs related documents.
  • Evaluator makes a number of short visits to the classroom throughout the year.  The visits are followed by actionable statements written by the evaluator for the educator. The educator responds to actionable statements in writing. These are included in the educator's final evaluation. If the statements are worrisome, the educator can contact the Union for guidance. 
  • Educator preps for mid-year meeting by organizing evidence, reviewing and listing progress on goals, and preparing meeting questions. 
  • Meet at mid-year to review evidence collected to date, progress on stated-goals, review of all evaluation areas.
  • Educator preps for end year meeting by writing up a synopsis of evidence, goals met, and other information that depicts the educator's good work and efforts. 
  • End year meeting and review. Educator and evaluator review end-of-year summary and evaluations.  If the educator is troubled by the evaluation, he/she works with Union prior to signing the evaluation.

Note: Massachusetts' educators and administrators will also be involved with new curriculum initiatives, district determined measures, RETELL, and recertification (for many).  This is a year where focused, streamlined efforts will be critical in order to save most professional time for service to children, not service to multiple adult systems.

Related Posts:
Effective Education: Planning and Decision Time Lines
Educator Evaluation Scores: Report or Not?
Summer Study-Shift
Navigating Multiple Massachusetts' Initiatives
TeachFocus: Massachusetts New Evaluation Standards' Review