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The Skillful Leader: A focus on meaningful informal observation feedback using the Progress Adviser Tool Palm Springs Unified School District 10/9/14.

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Presentation on theme: "The Skillful Leader: A focus on meaningful informal observation feedback using the Progress Adviser Tool Palm Springs Unified School District 10/9/14."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Skillful Leader: A focus on meaningful informal observation feedback using the Progress Adviser Tool Palm Springs Unified School District 10/9/14

2 Agenda District Perspective on Evaluation Philosophy of the Skillful Leader Identifying the Mediocre Teacher Common Language Focus on Informal Feedback (Progress Adviser)

3 District Perspective Districts were looking for the perfect evaluation tool to enhance the evaluation process. Districts were needing to negotiate changes to the evaluation process and forms as it fell within the scope of bargaining. Superintendent and Board of Education pressuring to include student achievement data as part of the evaluation. Teacher’s Union declaring that evaluation is worthless and nothing more than something to check off the list of things to do each year.

4 District Perspective The “tool” does not make evaluation better or more meaningful. The “tool” is only as good as the supervisor’s ability to identify good instruction, speak to good instruction and write to good instruction. A meaningful evaluation only happens if the person receiving the feedback understands the message and can refer back to the message upon reflection. Why negotiate “language” that already exists either in the bargained process and/or Education Code.

5 District Perspective Standard Five of the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP) Establishes and communicates learning goals for all students. Collects and uses multiple sources of information to assess student learning Involves and guides students in assessing their own learning. Uses the results of assessment to guide instruction.

6 District Perspective Standard 5 continued…. Communicates with students and families about student progress. Evidence of students progress towards appropriate standards and/or IEP goals.

7 Standard 5 Assessment Data Student Data has always been allowed under Standard 5 (excluding norm referenced exams per the Ed. Code) Very important on how to communicate the use of student data in the evaluation to avoid resistance and fear. Crucial to not use the data alone as EBN….but to connect the poor data to strategies/systems that were poorly utilized or not utilized to improve the data/student learning.

8 Standard 5 Assessment Data 5.2Collects and uses multiple sources of information to assess student learning “Multiple sources” is not strictly defined “Collects and uses” is directly connected to “assess student learning” One has to support the other (Evidenced Based)  Formal Assessment (Tests, Quizzes)  Informal Assessment (Checking for Understanding)  Summative (Grade Distribution, Grade Patterns)

9 Standard 5 Assessment Data 5.4Uses the results of the assessment to guide instruction What specific strategies were used (and why) to get the student(s) to mastery? What specific intervention was implemented (and why) to get the student (s) to mastery? What grading pattern and at what point did the instructor make appropriate changes to the delivery of instruction to get students(s) to mastery? (Was the timing of the change efficient and appropriate or too late?)

10 Standard 5 Assessment Data 5.5Communicated with students and families about student progress. Is there evidence the teacher communicated with the student regarding their lack of progress in a timely manner? Is there evidence the teacher communicated with the parent regarding their child’s lack of progress in a timely manner? Did the communication include effective “home to school” strategies or availability of “beyond the school day” support?

11 Philosophy of the Skillful Leader The Skillful Leader by Alexandre Platt & Caroline Tripp “If the teacher is performing poorly, I can better deal with that than I can deal with a teacher who is just doing their job.” Harvard Study: Value-added teacher ranking compared to Principal informal teacher ranking: Top/Bottom 10% - Strong Correlation Middle 80% - Very Little Correlation (Jacobs & Lefgren 2006)

12 Philosophy of the Skillful Leader Excellent teachers & incompetent teachers share one quality - they are easy to identify - *See Profiles Middle 80% hard to identify – Mediocre Teacher Skillful Leader definition of a Mediocre Teacher: The inability to provide reliable, consistent and high quality teaching in every classroom.

13 Sally Friendly Sally Friendly profile Positives Solid management and routines Nice to all – well liked by staff Motivated and hard worker Contributes to life of school

14 Sally Friendly Challenges Enormous effort – but ineffective Truly believes she’s doing the right thing for students Well liked by everyone System has failed to provide effective feedback Perfect example of generation of teachers focused on what teachers teach – not on what students learn.

15 Identifying the Mediocre Teacher But do not provide opportunities for higher level thinking They can be pleasant, caring, organized, beautiful classroom - But do not provide opportunities for higher level thinking But focus is on activities (worksheets) not on learning outcomes They have minimal disruptions in class, students always quiet and busy - But focus is on activities (worksheets) not on learning outcomes

16 Additional MT Profiles “Whim Winger” – Lacks expertise in subject matter & planning (plans lessons on the fly; assesses sporadically) “Frank Steel” – Coach with an attitude (excellent coach, mediocre teacher; teaching driven by control, not passion) “Peter Passable” – Union activist, competent but resistant (sees no need to expand repertoire; active union representation)

17 How does Mediocre Teaching Happen? Individual Teacher Problems Supervisor Shortcomings Institutional Shortcomings Don’t point fingers: Institutional & Supervisor shortcomings have insulated Mediocre Teaching All of us must own the problem!

18 Debilitating Beliefs Diminished expectations for adult learning. “What can you expect? That’s just the way she is, she’s been like that for 20 years.” Debilitating Belief #1

19 Debilitating Beliefs Diminished aspirations for achievement and opportunity. “That may work for Richtown School. They have all the money and parent support.” Debilitating Belief #2

20 Debilitating Beliefs Inappropriate problem definition & unrealistic goal setting “I wish I could fire them all.” “If we could only get rid of tenure and unions.” Debilitating Belief #3

21 Debilitating Beliefs Negative assumptions about costs and benefits. Supervisor’s fear of fracturing relationships with staff, disrupting the positive climate of the school – leading the supervisor to ‘back off’ or ‘look the other way’ Debilitating Belief #4

22 Unpromising Practices  Unpromising Practice 1: Transferring problems  Tailoring classes  Transferring staff  Results :  Short-term solution  Transferring problems creates resentment  Temporarily ‘minimizes damage’ – but mediocrity continues

23 Unpromising Practices  Unpromising Practice 2: Enabling mediocrity through work assignments  Assigning fewer/easier duties for the mediocre teacher  Assigning ‘high profile’ duties for reliable/responsible teacher  Results :  Work assignments reveal the supervisor’s performance expectations – not all staff are held to same accountability

24 Unpromising Practices  Unpromising Practice 3: Evaluations based on limited data  Evaluating based on 1 or 2 visits all year/using vague and general/interchangeable feedback “Mrs. Smith creates a comfortable environment” “Mr. Gomez is a real veteran teacher”  Results :  Vague writing & limited data promote & protect mediocrity Evaluator Impressions

25 Unpromising Practices  Unpromising Practice 4: Assigning inappropriate weight to data unrelated to instruction & learning  Socially active – Sunshine Committee; distributes birthday cards; brings doughnuts on Fridays  Prioritizes activities – after-school programs; coaching; talent show director  Results :  The ‘Halo Error’ & ‘Leniency Effect’ Almost inevitably, teachers whose classroom performance is mediocre, but who sustain the extracurricular or social life of the school, will have received good to excellent evaluations.

26 Unpromising Practices  Unpromising Practice 5: Evaluations with mixed messages and tentative writing “The teacher’s warm rapport and quickness to praise made for a happy environment. While they love being called on, it would seem that children are somewhat reluctant to give reasons for their answers and may need to be stretched. It is suggested that you try popsicle sticks and maybe rewards for thinking, which would be entirely consistent with the delightful way in which you motivate youngsters.”  Results :  Communicates everyone is excellent  No urgency to change  Negatively impacts supervisor’s credibility

27 Confronting Mediocrity 1. Conviction  Institutional belief that EVERY child deserves and can have expert instruction 2. Competence  Develop supervisory competence, utilize multiple data sources, avoid fluff - use Evidence Based Narratives 3. Control  Take control of your time, nothing is more important than instructional improvement The Three C’s

28 PSUSD Process Initial training of Skillful Leader concepts Employee Roster, Selection of 2 Mediocre Teachers for the year Skillful Reflection, & Skillful Road Map Training focused on observation feedback - Evidence Based Narratives Principal review of colleague observation summaries Feedback from HR on Mediocre Teacher final evaluations 2014-15 Focus on Informal Feedback/Progress Adviser


30 Progress Adviser Program Demonstration: Mr. Brad Sauer – Principal/James Workman Middle School (PSUSD) Mr. Kevin Crye – Vice President of Client Services (Progress Adviser)

31 Skillful Leader The reality is, the only thing that stands between a student and a mediocre teacher is the evaluator. Thank you! Mr. Mauricio Arellano, Asst. Supt. HR – Palm Springs Unified Mr. Kevin Crye, Vice President of Client Services – Progress Adviser Tony Signoret, Ed.D., Director of Certificated Human Resources – Palm Springs Unified Mr. Brad Sauer, Principal James Workman Middle School – Palm Springs Unified

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