Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dr. Jordan answering questions at yesterdays KASB's Evaluation Planning Session.

January 30, 2013

It has been another busy week in Leadership Services (LS)  Monday we were helping USD 417 screen superintendent candidates.  We always work to find the best candidate that is also the best match for the district.  That is one of the most difficult tasks we have in LS.  Many times we have more great candidates than the board can interview so the characteristics forum we do with each community really helps determine the best skills needed to match the needs of the district.

We hosted another evaluation session yesterday at KASB.  We had four district teams in the building to spend the day reviewing their current model and comparing and contrasting to several of the newer systems that have been approved by the state.  This is the fourth seminar Dr. Jordan has hosted and we have scheduled other onsite training for member districts.  Both the Kansas Educator Evaluation Protocol and McREL have be discussed by many districts around the state.  We will know more about what districts decide in the near future since KSDE set a deadline to select the model this March.

One of our many services is working with McREL’s Balanced Leadership.  The past two weeks we have been in Andover with their admin team and at SCKESC in Clearwater working with teams from several districts including Augusta, Goddard, Wichita. Lots of great discussion and an in depth study of change theory.  It is always fun to watch the “light bulbs” go on when they relate their past experiences with change initiatives and the many struggles associated with implementation.

Quality Evaluation Systems, Critical for Continuous Improvement

Districts across Kansas are experiencing a dramatic shift in how they monitor and guide improvements.  In the past two months We have worked with over 500 educators ranging from teachers to school board members that are making critical decisions about how they will evaluate their teachers and principals.  Evaluation of teachers and building leaders is an essential component to improving instruction and leadership with your district.  KSDE has communicated that March 1 is the date by which districts need to indicate what they are going to do to evaluate their teachers and building leaders.  We believe that districts need to thoroughly vet their evaluation system options to find the system that fits their needs. The following are some critical questions that districts must considered as the look at their options:

  • Is your personnel evaluation system formative in nature, does it promote and foster improvement in instruction and leadership? 
  • Does your approach to evaluation align with your district's values, vision, and goals?
  • Does your system clarify observable behaviors and/or practices that articulate differences between high and low performance?
  • Are the evaluated behaviors strongly correlated with high levels of student learning and achievement?
  • Is there a research base behind your evaluation system and process?
  • Does your system articulate a continuum of professional growth, and provide a structure for teacher and leader reflection and collaboration?
  • Do your current processes, policies, and practices align with the purposes of the evaluation system you are considering? 
Districts must engage representatives from all the stakeholder groups during the process of selecting an instrument, this provides insight into how the evaluation system fits with the current culture of your system.

Read more about questions to consider when selecting an evaluation system: