Thursday, July 3, 2014

QFIC, Not Just Another Educational Acronym

QFIC, no it does not stand for the Quebec Forest Industry Council, I know that is what you all were thinking!  QFIC, or Quality, Fidelity, Intensity, Consistency is a mindset that we teach when working with districts on their leadership development and evaluation systems.  

Many of you are thinking, “why do we need another acronym to confuse us, and the people that we try to inspire, as we lead our buildings and districts.”  QFIC is a mindset that we have to develop and reinforce within our organization, and it starts with the leaders of that organization. This summer I have had some great opportunities to work with districts on developing the QFIC mindset as they reflect on the implementation of their “new” evaluation systems.  These districts are trying to ensure that they are getting the highest level of effectiveness with the evaluation systems they implemented this past year.  We have worked with them on improving the quality of the evaluation process, fidelity to the intended purposes of the evaluation system, intensity that they exhibit as they use the evaluation process, and consistency as they calibrate common levels of expectations within the system while doing the evaluation process.

The questions your administrative team needs to consider as you work to instill a QFIC mindset around evaluation include:

Are we asking the “right” questions when conducting the pre-evaluation and post observation conferences?  These questions are a critical piece of the evaluation process, and when done well bring quality, insights and reflection to the process that will drive improvement of instruction and leadership.  The evaluator should be developing questions prior to the conferences that force the evaluee to reflect on their professional practices, and make the link between their actions and results.  

Do all the users of your evaluation system “look for” and “see” the same things happening when conducting observations?  “Norming” your evaluation system is a practice that should be done at a minimum on an annual basis to ensure consistency of expectations and reduce variability across your system.

Do the professional goals established link back to the areas of need for the evaluee and support the overarching district goals?  As evaluator and evaluee sit down to craft their professional goals they should be focusing on areas that will translate to improved results in the classroom or across the school.  These goals should include measurable outcomes that if met assist the school with reaching their improvement goals.  The goals developed should also incorporate the language found within the evaluation instrument. References can then be made back to the instrument by the evaluee and evaluator so they can easily monitor growth towards the established goal.

Do the artifacts collected validate and support the level of practice by the professional?  As artifacts are collected, the evaluator and evaluee need to consider artifacts that best represent their professional abilities.  When it comes to artifacts, more is less! A system defining and deciding on quality artifacts will help the evaluee understand the expectations related to quality instructional and leadership practices.  Systems should be considering model artifacts that can be shared with evaluees so they can see and understand what quality professional practice looks like in their role.

These are a few of the questions that administrative teams should be considering as they strive to establish QFIC related to their evaluation system. Answers to the questions will continue to be important as evaluation expands over the next school year to include student growth measures. Fidelity and consistency will be very important as systems begin to analyze the data from their evaluation system to provide ongoing professional development and make personnel decisions.  QFIC is really all about culture. Systems that are working effectively and efficiently thrive on a culture of high expectations, peer support and a desire to continuously improve, in other words QFIC.

KASB leadership services staff has worked with some districts recently on these topics as they have made it through year one of implementing their new evaluation system, and are wanting to improve how evaluation is conducted in their system.  Give us a call and we would be glad to work with your team.

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