Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New evaluation aims to create better teachers and students

This from WPSD (West KY) :
A new teacher evaluation system designed in our area to create smarter students by training better teachers is now the standard across the state of Kentucky. The initiative for a new system started five years ago in Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, and Marshall counties. The Professional Growth and Effectiveness System, or PGES, focuses on ideas like self-reflection, student voice, and coaching. Administrators say the tool will keep good teachers in classrooms and weed out the ones who aren't getting through your kids.

Many school districts have been working through the summer to prepare teachers for some big changes that they're going to be held accountable for starting this school year. "It was all about trying to improve teacher quality, teacher effectiveness in the state of Kentucky," said Graves County Secondary Instructional Supervisor Carla Whitis. She's been involved in creating a new system for teachers and principals in Kentucky since day one.

"It's not just filling out an evaluation anymore. We are trying to, with this tool, actually create better teachers... which in turn will create better students," said Alison Gregory. She's the principal at Symsonia Elementary School and in charge of the coaching teachers will get to become more effective in the classroom. It's something not even those with tenure will be able to avoid. Gregory said, "If we want great teachers in the classroom, this will keep them there. But, this will also show if this isn't quite the career for you. You're not going to be able to hide what I would call bad teaching."

Teachers in each Graves County school have already exposed their students to the new standards. Elementary Instructional Supervisor Amanda Henson said, "Our instruction is being carried out like this currently. So,we feel like we are in really good shape for the upcoming school year."

PGES is going state-wide now, holding teachers to higher standards using a system that will also be evaluated itself. Whitis said, "Is it accomplishing what we want it to accomplish? Which is? More effective teachers, which also leads to students learning more and growing over that time period."

The program requires principals to do three in-class observations. Teachers rated as "ineffective" will be required to create a plan to improve. Principals will go through a calibration process every two years to make sure they're using the program correctly.


Anonymous said...

Professional Growth should not be so highly embedded student growth and proficiency level components factors. Soon the rubber will hit the road when district determined growth and proficiency goal levels start to result in teachers across the spectrum being identified as "LOW" on the good old "Decision Matrix"

If you are having a math or science teacher relocated to your rural community, you can just about write that off ever happening if your district has a history of low performance and a community with low SES and other at risk factors. Why would I want to put myself in a situation where my continued employment based on PGES student growth and proficiency would be so risky when I can instead take jobs at higher flying schools. We are going to end up doing what we already know is wrong - dumping green teachers with limited experience or pedagogical development into classrooms with the most at risk kids, only to have a system like PGES label those new teachers as performing below expectations.

Regardless of how you feel about tenure, we are just creating a revolving door at some of our most at risk schools with the simplistic idea that if we just get some sort of super teacher they will be able to make kid's score high on some annual test regardless of the school's limited resources, communities low SES or the dysfunctional nature of student's familial background.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of evaluations, why didn't the school board do one on Dr. Shelton this year?

Anonymous said...

You know, we are just lowly educators. Why don't they do this sort of evaluation on doctors, pilots or public safety professionals?

Really, we dump all negative aspects of student performance on the teacher but what would happen if we did the same with others?

"As you know Dr. Jones, obesity is a critical national health threat that all physicans are expecting to be addressing with their patients. We have reviewed your patient H & P's and note that 75% of your Kentucky patients are considered over weight or obese and that only 8 % demonstrated sustained weight loss compared to previous year's weight. We are going to have to create a PGES (physican's gap in execution standard) for you where you will watch videos about weight loss counseling on our new web page MD360. Your practice will also need to pay for a reduction specialist from weight watchers to coach you during some of your patients' appointments. If during the next year you can't get the number of patients in your practice who are overweight down to below 60% and demonstrate at least a 20% growth rate in those who have sustained weight loss, KDE (Kentucky Doctor Evaluators) will be forced to remove you from your current practice which in turn will most likely make you unable to find employment with another practice."

If doctors - many of whom accept KYconnect, medicare and Medicaid from state and federal coffers - don't allow this, why do educators who far out number physicans?