Common Core Works

From the Page to the Classroom

Overview of Effective Teaching Plans

Aspire Public Schools (CA)
Nearly 100 Aspire teachers participated in focus groups and on advisory panels in 2010–11 to help shape the design of The College-Ready Promise (TCRP), a coalition of four California charter management organizations implementing a teacher development system that:

  • Sets clear expectations for teachers by using a research-based framework for effective teaching;
  • Develops effective teachers through timely, targeted support and professional development;
  • Determines effectiveness through transparent multidimensional measures: 40 percent based on student achievement and 60 percent on teacher practice and behavior (principal and peer evaluations, feedback from students and families);
  • Invests in effective school-site instructional leadership focused on teacher effectiveness; and
  • Recognizes and rewards effective teaching.

Nearly 400 Aspire teachers (about 80 percent of the total) piloted one or more of the TCRP components during the 2011–12 school year.

Atlanta Public Schools
The district began its Effective Teacher in Every Classroom initiative in 2009 to recruit, prepare, place, and support effective teachers in every classroom. Starting in 2011–12, however, it is piloting the state’s new Teacher Keys evaluation system, which features three main components: observations (based on 10 indicators in five domains), student growth and achievement, and student surveys.

Denver Public Schools

The district and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association collaborated to develop a new teacher evaluation and support system, Leading Effective Academic Practice (LEAP). When fully developed, student outcomes (based on multiple assessments in five potential categories) will comprise 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation. The other professional practice components include principal observation, peer observation, professionalism (such as collaboration and use of data), and student perception data. Sixteen schools piloted components of LEAP in spring 2011. At the end of that spring semester, 94 percent of schools voted to be part of the 2011–12 pilot. In the 2012–13 school year, all Denver public schools will pilot LEAP, and data will begin counting toward probationary/nonprobationary status in 2014–15, as mandated by Colorado law.

 
Green Dot Public Schools (CA)
More than 30 percent of Green Dot’s teachers participated in advisory panels, in focus groups, on committees, as site liaisons, and as pilot teachers in The College-Ready Promise, a coalition of four California charter management organizations implementing a teacher development system that:
  • Sets clear expectations for teachers by using a research-based framework for effective teaching;
  • Develops effective teachers through timely, targeted support and professional development;
  • Determines effectiveness through transparent multidimensional measures, which vary for teachers of subjects that are tested, of subjects that are not tested, and of special education students: 20–40 percent based on student achievement and 60–80 percent on teacher practice and behavior (principal and peer evaluations, feedback from students and families);
  • Invests in effective school-site instructional leadership focused on teacher effectiveness;
  • Recognizes and rewards effective teaching; and
  • Sponsors career ladder options for effective teachers looking to expand their role as teacher leaders in the organization.

Hillsborough County Public Schools (FL)
The Empowering Effective Teachers initiative is transforming how the school district hires, supports, evaluates, and compensates teachers. The new evaluation (40 percent based on student achievement gains, 35 percent on principal’s evaluation, and 25 percent on mentor’s/peer’s evaluation) was introduced in fall 2010. The new scores were first released in fall 2011, and new aligned professional development began in spring 2012. A second round of evaluation scores will be released in fall 2012, and with two years of data the district will establish performance “cut scores.” Teachers and principals will be able to opt into the new system by fall 2013, which is when a new career ladder and compensation system also will roll out.

Memphis City Schools (MCS)
To implement its Teacher Effectiveness Initiative, MCS is focusing on four strategies: Use a common, agreed-upon process to define and measure effective teaching; make smart decisions about who teaches students; better support, utilize, and compensate teachers; and improve the surrounding contexts for teachers and students to foster effective teaching.

As part of its reform agenda, MCS has:

  • Changed who it hires to teach and how it hires them;
  • Redefined the meaning of “teaching effectiveness”;
  • Built new tools and processes to measure teacher performance; and
  • Implemented those new tools and processes as part of its new Teacher Effectiveness Measurement.

At the close of the 2011–12 school year, 615 certified administrators had successfully completed more than 29,000 teacher observations. All teachers were observed at least four times a year throughout the year, and each observation was followed by a one-on-one feedback session with specific guidance to promote growth and development. Approximately 70 percent of teachers surveyed said the feedback sessions led to improvements in their instructional practice.

Pittsburgh Public Schools
The school district and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers collaboratively co-authored the Empowering Effective Teachers plan, which has three strategic priorities:
  • Increase the number of highly effective teachers, using multiple measures, rewards and recognition, and a Teaching Institute;
  •  Increase the exposure of high-need students to highly effective teachers through career ladders and a Promise-Readiness Corps for 9th and 10th graders; and
  • Ensure that all teachers work in positive learning environments by setting and reinforcing high standards for behavior and aspirations, building students’ ability to meet those standards, providing more consistent supports, and improving working conditions.

A top recent priority has been to ensure to embed the work into relevant departments across the district so that it is not perceived as “just another initiative.”

Prince George’s County Public Schools (MD)

In 2011–12, Prince George's County Public Schools was one of seven school districts involved in a statewide pilot of new evaluation systems for teachers and principals that included multiple measures of educator effectiveness. The multiple measures included professional practice and student growth. As a measure of professional practice, 25 percent of the eligible teachers in each of the 200-plus schools were observed using the Danielson Framework for Teaching (FFT). In 2012–13, all classroom-based teachers slated to be evaluated will use FFT for their formal observations.

 

Tulsa Public Schools

The Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Observation and Evaluation System was developed jointly with the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association. It contains 20 indicators within five domains: (1) classroom management; (2) instructional effectiveness; (3) professional growth and continuous improvement; (4) interpersonal skills; and (5) leadership. Teachers are ranked on a five-point scale, from “superior” to “ineffective.” The system was piloted and then implemented districtwide in 2010. In 2011, the district introduced school-level “value-added” achievement scores. By 2013, all districts in the state must begin using these scores as part of their teacher evaluation systems. To date, 499 of the 520 school districts in Oklahoma have elected to use Tulsa’s evaluation model.

 
Supporting Effective Teaching
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