Last Modified: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 2:37 PMA group of Calcasieu Parish teachers gathered at Lake Charles-Boston Academy on Monday for training related to the new state-mandated performance evaluation of educators.
Starting this fall, the state Department of Education will use the Compass method to assess teachers’ effectiveness. It’s designed to go along with the Common Core Standards, which Louisiana is phasing in at all public schools.
Recent education reform legislation has made assessments of teacher effectiveness more important. The new laws allow districts to use measures of teacher effectiveness to guide personnel policies and decisions. Teachers’ effectiveness ratings are directly tied to their tenure status.
Pat Deaville, director of high school curriculum and instruction for Calcasieu Parish, led the sessions and focused on outlining the specifics of Compass. He said Common Core shifted expectations for students, while Compass shifts educator support and evaluation practice to align with the new expectations.
He taught the “Danielson Rubric,” which looks at grading teachers on goal-setting and -achievement by their students. Deaville said principals and evaluators will give teachers feedback based on this rubric.
He also discussed the new “Student Learning Targets” teachers will be required to create to measure student growth. Every teacher is required to create two SLTs for the upcoming school year. Deaville said teachers should pick out two things in their curriculum to focus on and then come up with an assessment plan for those goals. He said each SLT should only be a page long and should include the rationale behind the goal, the targeted student growth, baseline data, and a scoring plan.
“It’s not about piles and piles of stuff. It’s about improving instruction and learning,” Deaville said.
Teachers will be graded on the SLTs at the end of the year. Deaville said Calcasieu Parish will require teachers to have 70 percent of students meet the set goal to receive full attainment.
For most teachers, the new state evaluation system will take the SLT achievement scale into account. This score will be used along with the on-site evaluations to determine a teacher’s overall effectiveness rating.
Calcasieu teachers will be able to attend sessions on the new standards and requirements all week at the academy.
“This (the summer session) is a jump start for you to start wrapping your head around things and to start getting your ideas,” Deaville said to the teachers.
State Superintendent John White announced Monday a new district support leadership team that will work with school districts during the transition to the new Compass evaluation system and in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
The new network structure will serve as the primary support vehicle for districts as they implement new evaluation systems and standards.
School districts will fall into one of five networks statewide.
White also announced the leader for each of the network support teams.
Calcasieu, Cameron, Beauregard, Allen and Jeff Davis parishes all fall into the same network. Warren Drake will be the area leader. Drake has worked as the superintendent of the Zachary Community School District since 2002. Previously, Drake served as principal of Tara High School and assistant principal of Broadmoor and Zachary high schools.
Vernon Parish falls into a separate support network. Kerry Laster is the leader for that network. Laster is the deputy superintendent of literacy at the Department of Education and the former Concordia Parish superintendent.
White said network leaders and teams will facilitate regular meetings with school districts to discuss what is working in classrooms statewide and what needs work. Their work will include analyzing student and teacher data on which to base feedback and recommendations; providing technical assistance in developing evaluation systems and modifying curriculum; and assisting districts in reworking funds to better support the transition.
“We must have the best leaders for our children and for our educators. I’m proud to say we have found them,” White said in a news release. “These educators were in the trenches working alongside teachers. They know what tools are needed to help our teachers and students succeed.”