A Laser-Like Focus on Teaching Effectiveness

Downers Grove, IL (Nov 3-4, 2011) ~ The fall meeting of Great Lakes continued the laser-like focus on "Multiple Measures to Improve Teaching Effectiveness and Student Learning"attracting 200+ union, school and district leaders to the two-day event. 

The meeting began with a video-taped message from Pat Dolan (who was not able to attend in person) providing an overview of the agenda and to put the presentations in context.

A second video presentation by Dolan framed the work of the first day: The Impact of State & National Education Policies on Local Districts (Part I & Part II).

Hillsborough County Public School District in Florida is among the participants who shared their efforts to improve teacher appraisal systems and professional development. They have developed a teacher evaluation system called the Empowering Effective Teachers program. It based upon Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching and now includes 30% principal's written evaluation based upon the Danielson Framework, 30% Mentor/Peer Evaluators Written Evaluation based upon the Danielson Framework and 40% Gains in student achievement (click here to view 5 case studies).

The Hillsboro presentation included a discussion of their use of online professional development.

Hillsborough is also part of the Measuring Effective Teaching (MET) Project as well as the Tripod Project - both funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Both of these projects have been a part of the Great Lakes TURN efforts to learn more about how our unions and districts jointly improve teaching and learning.  At this meeting, Mary Jane Morris, The Consortium for Educational Change, and Rob Ramsdell, The Tripod Project, demonstrated how the Danielson Framework for Teaching aligns with the Tripod Project's student perception data. 

A panel discussion on the topic of "National and State Education Policies that Impact Teaching Effectiveness and Student Learning" included: Jo Anderson, DOE; Francine Lawrence, AFT; Princess Moss, NEA; Dan Montgomery, IFT-AFT and Audrey Soglin, IEA-NEA. They shared the perspectives of their respective organizations and agencies with regard to policies, practices and supports to assist unions, districts and schools. A focal point of the conversation was NEA's recently-adopted Policy Statement on Teacher Evaluation and Accountability.

The second day was framed by An Overview of Focus Group Topics: Compensation, Evaluation, Professional Development, Work Rules another video presentation by Pat Dolan.

The conference concluded with focus group breakout sessions for a critical look at the issues outlined in the Dolan video and team planning time with GL TURN consultants and presenters serving as critical friends.



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