New teacher evaluations progressing

SOUTHWICK – Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional Schools Curriculum Director Maureen Wilson updated the school committee this week on the new staff evaluation mandate.
The mandate must be implemented next year and is a complicated, cumbersome task.
“We’ve had a lot of training with staff,” she said. “It’s an ongoing thing.”
Wilson said administrators have attended various trainings sessions, including on the Oasis computer system that has 11 different evaluation categories.
Wilson said during training it was said that 90-99 percent of teachers statewide would fall into the “proficient” category.
“It will be really hard for teachers to get exemplary scores in all categories,” Wilson said.
A student survey will be included in the evaluation next year, as well as a self evaluation.
“It is quite comprehensive,” said Wilson. “We’re learning as we go.”
School Committee member Jean McGivney-Burelle said the process seemed cumbersome.
“That’s an awful lot of work to tell us our teachers are doing their job,” she said.
Superintendent John Barry said because STGRSD is a Race To The Top district, it has to begin implementing the evaluation system this year. Barry said it will be used for all staff, including himself.
“There is a lot of work and a lot of new thinking going into this,” he said. “Everyone is doing their best with it.”
On June 28, 2011, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted new regulations for the evaluation of all Massachusetts educators. The regulations, which apply to both administrators and teachers throughout the state, are designed to: promote growth and development amongst leaders and teachers; place student learning at the center, using multiple measures of student learning, growth, and achievement; recognize excellence in teaching and leading; set a high bar for professional teaching status; and shorten timelines for improvement.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) is committed to supporting effective Educator Evaluation implementation. ESE developed the Model System for evaluating administrators and teachers that districts can choose to adopt or adapt, or they may revise their existing local evaluation system to align with the new regulations.
ESE has released the first seven parts of Model System and is using federal Race to the Top grant funds to develop training materials and resources designed to support districts in implementing the new regulations.

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