These are my notes from Jana Burk’s presentation, “Tulsa Public Schools Teacher Evaluation Model” on February 28, 2012, by leaders from TPS at the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s Teacher Leader Effectiveness (TLE) “road show” presentation in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

We are not a vendor, we are happy whatever model you decide to adapt
– we want to share our experiences and lessons learned with you

Why is your district considering a new teacher evaluation system?
– right answer shouldn’t be, “they’re making me do it”
– better answer is: we need a better method of identifying and describing effective teaching, we need a better method of identifying and describing ineffective teaching

Our old model had a checklist of twenty items which

the old system didn’t work: it didn’t communicate to teachers or principals both what effective was and what ineffective was

my important lesson: “teachers are the talent”

you are here to find out why effectiveness matters

From Sanders and Rivers, “Cumulative and Residual Effects on Future Student Academic Achievement” 2006
– show difference of 53 percentile points between students with a high performing teacher and a low performing teacher

Why Teacher Effectiveness Matters

evaluation systems have to measure what matters
– we don’t have time or money for anything else today

Now showing a video highlighting how this assessment system has transformed Tulsa Public Schools into a culture of performance

“new system is more cumbersome and time consuming, but it is tied to student and teacher effectiveness”

– teachers have positive feedback about timeline conferences after an evaluation, perception of fair standards and expectations across the district / in different buildings

SB 2033 mandates of Oklahoma law
– 5 tiers of effectiveness
– evidence based
– more…

What’s important to know
– teacher involvement is key
– teachers are our talent: use the evaluation system to support them
– principal’s time is precious
– keep it simple: measure what matters (the characteristics that impact student achievement)

Having things neatly organized isn’t necessarily the most important thing
– we need a teacher evaluation model which keeps that in mind

Key features of TPS model
– developed by Oklahoma teachers
– more….

Henry Ford: “teamwork and collaboration are the fuel that lows common people to attain uncommon results”

Rubrics incorporate “best practices associated with higher student achievement”
– Kathleen Cotton of NWREL (Northwest Regional Educational Lab) and harvard researcher Thomas Kane were main collaborators

Our TLE system and indicators are “empirically associated with student achievement” (it measures what matters)

We have used teacher’s value added scores with their TLE evaluation scores, and they were positively correlated
– MET vaidation engine project

rubrics are detailed roadmaps for improvement for all teachers
– observation conferences are a status check prior to formal evaluation
– requires customized teacher training and responses with regard to teachers ranked in the bottom two tiers

Gates Foundation funding has provided opportunities for us to give extensive, sustained training to our teachers about our model/system
– we are not requiring districts to replicate all our training

This is rich but workable system
– we had 37 indicators in our first year of district implementation

Rubric: includes definitions of professional proficiency (effectiveness) for all 5 rankings
— contains 20 indicators now (down from 37, we decided that was not workable for our district)
– we just got back from a Gates grant conference, Denver Colorado had 38 teacher effectiveness indicators and are now paring those down because that was too many

Observation process
– principal’s intentional study and analysis of the teacher’s classroom performance, guided by the rubric
– a minimum of 2 observations per evaluation

January 2012, page 28: “Gathering Feedback for Teaching” report
– this report not focused on the indicators
– looks at various observation rubrics, the relationships of rubrics to inter-rater reliability, etc.
– more indicators? it’s a fine balance

“Each additional [indicator] included in an instrument adds costs… training time and scoring time for observers”

“Adding an indicator risks lowering the quality of data on all other indicators if observers have already reached their ability to keep track.”

Evaluation form is web-based or paper-based, your choice

Conferences follow every observation and evaluation

Customized feedback and support: focus on the most intensive supports for 1 (“Ineffective”) and 2 (“Needs Improvement”)
– we have a basic Excel-based technology method we can share with you free
– you can also buy online systems with more bells and whistles from vendors

customized supports for teacher improvement
1- “push pins” are less formal, yet documented, approaches to remedy ineffectiveness
2- personal development plans (PDPs)
3- PD aligned with evaluation findings
4- PDP support: address issues identified in PDPs
5- Quality Experiences Supporting Teachers (QUEST)
– not required for those implementing our model, this is more expensive
– this is an 8 week program with 24 half-days of mentoring experiences for teachers
– partnering teachers with master teachers, we’ve found it to be very powerful and impactful

20 indicators in 5 domains in the TPS model, all weighted according to what impacts student achievement
– classroom management 50%
– more…

Our rubrics are 10 pages single sided when printed

Can’t stress enough: having a common language and a very specific understanding of what “effective instruction” means has done a lot to increase our climate in schools

Teacher observation tool is used to operationalize the rubric

IMG_1460.JPG

OKTLE (Barlow & Associates) are our technology parker
TalentEd is another partner with us (IF YOU HAVE A LINK TO THEM PLEASE SHARE IT AS A COMMENT, I COULDN’T FIND ONE VIA GOOGLE)

Now we’ll talk about the impact
– student achievement gains
– identification of teachers’ strengths
– clear and actionable direction on how to improve
– customized, tiered support
– PLC tool
– Performance-based exists of ineffective teachers/principals

Had 60 performance-based teacher exists (firings) in the year we adopted this model, we had zero before this because we weren’t using a performance based system
– there were no due-process hearings for those exits, “teachers had been provided with support and they just couldn’t rise to the occasion”

Almost 20 demotions and firings of administrators that year, based on the MCREL-based principal evaluation system we adopted

Lessons learned
– communicate!
– leverage research and teacher and principal feedback to continuously improve the system
– train evaluators, and train them again
— ensure inter-rater reliability and accuracy

We anticipate the training will take 5 days for administrators this summer to implement
– we have certified trainers who will try to deliver the training at the location you specify

What would you tell an absent kid about Tulsa TLE model today? (people who weren’t here today)
– my response: “Indicators add costs”

I asked Jana: Besides the number of indicators in the TPS model, what else do you think differentiates it from the Danielson and Marzano models?

Alicia Currin-Moore (OKSDE director of TLE) specifically forbade TLE reps from responding to this question

MY COMMENTS: I THINK IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT AS SCHOOL DISTRICT DECISION MAKERS, WE HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO CONNECT THE DOTS ABOUT SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE MODELS. IDENTIFYING WHAT THE DIFFERENTIATORS ARE BETWEEN MODELS IS FOUNDATIONAL AND BASIC TO THIS SELECTION PROCESS. IT IS THEREFORE IRONIC THE OFFICIAL SDE REPRESENTATIVE PROHIBITED THE SPOKESPEOPLE TODAY TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM ATTENDEES / PARTICIPANTS ABOUT THIS.

I ALSO THINK IT IS REALLY WEIRD (I’M NOT SURE WHAT OTHER TERM TO USE, BECAUSE I’VE NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE AT ANY EDUCATIONAL PRESENTATION / CONFERENCE) FOR THE SDE TO HAVE SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED ALL VENDORS FROM EVEN BEING IN THE ROOM WITH PARTICIPANTS / ATTENDEES WHEN OTHER MODEL PRESENTERS WERE SHARING. NOTHING WHICH IS BEING SHARED IN THIS SESSION IS CLASSIFIED OR SECRET. I THINK THESE SESSIONS ARE BEING RECORDED AND MADE AVAILABLE AS A WEBINAR, SO ALL THIS WILL BE PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE IN DIGITAL FORMATS. (CHECK THE TLE WEBSITE FOR LINKS.)

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,


Did you know Wes has published 9 eBooks, and 1 of them is available free? Check them out!

Do you use a smartphone or tablet? Subscribe to Wes' free magazine "iReading" on Flipboard!


If you're trying to listen to a podcast episode and it's not working, check this status page. (Wes is migrating his podcasts to Amazon S3 for hosting.) Remember to follow Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wesley's Facebook pages for "Speed of Creativity Learning" and his eBook, "Playing with Media." Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Mapping Media to the Common Core / Curriculum."

On this day..

Share →
  • Ben Vetter

    Per Jana’s request above about providing a link to online information on TalentEd Perform: http://www.talentedk12.com. This is the online evaluation software that Tulsa Public Schools will be using to manage their evaluation model for their own district. It is a comprehensive and very customizable option that also allows you to evaluate all staff in the district.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Made with Love in Oklahoma City