The teacher evaluation process has been at the forefront of many policy conversations over the past decade, and the underlying assumption resonates just as much today as it did ten years ago: the quality of the classroom teacher is the most important school-level factor that impacts student achievement. As school leaders, we must bring this assumption to life by creating a culture of teacher learning in our schools. Below are two important ways school leaders can help the teacher evaluation process become a robust and meaningful conversation that promotes professional growth and continuous improvement of professional practices. (more…)
ESSA Webinar Series
This week, NASSP’s Advocacy team hosted the first webinar in our series on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The first webinar covered the provisions in Title I, and you can view the recording online. Dates and times for the next two webinars are below—be sure to save the dates!
Title II Provisions: Wednesday, April 27, 3:30–4:30 p.m. (ET) (Registration opening soon!) (more…)
NASSP Position Statements
The NASSP Board of Directors has stated its intent to adopt position statements on A-F School Grading Systems and Online Learning. Following a 30-day public comment period, the board will vote to approve the position statements at its next meeting in May. If you have any comments or suggestions, please submit them to Amanda Karhuse, director of advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, March 24.
Inside the Beltway (more…)
Inside the Beltway
What’s going on in Washington?
Comments were due this week in response to the Request for Information from the U.S. Department of Education on implementing Title I of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This is one of the first steps in the regulatory process for ESSA, which takes effect on August 1, 2016. NASSP submitted comments along with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), which can be viewed online. All comments are public record, so you can also view comments submitted by other organizations and individuals as well. (more…)
Principals in the Central states may now be a bit more confused about their responsibility to report suspected child abuse. The Supreme Court declined to review a 6th Circuit decision allowing parents to sue principals for reporting suspected abuse at home. The allegation by the administrator, the court concluded, was retaliation for a dispute over the student’s IEP. NASSP signed an amicus curiae brief for the case, indicating that “mandatory reporting” now results in mandatory vulnerability to civil suits. NASSP members, remember that your membership provides you with up to $10,000 in legal coverage. Let’s hope you won’t need it, despite the court’s decision. (more…)
Cross posting from Ignite ’14 blog.
Last week at Ignite ’14, the NASSP Board of Directors officially approved the release of a joint policy brief with NAESP offering recommendations for principals in implementing teacher evaluation systems.
The brief, titled “Supporting Principals in Implementing Teacher Evaluation Systems: Recommendations from practicing principals to improve instruction and learning,” is the work of a joint committee formed by NAESP and NASSP in November to review current research and literature on the impact that new teacher evaluation systems are having on principals across the country.
The committee of 19 practicing principals provided a unique perspective on how the profession is being impacted by the adoption of new teacher evaluations systems. The committee developed seven recommendations for policymakers at all levels to better support principals in the implementation of teacher evaluation systems. (more…)
Earlier this week at Ignite ’14, the NASSP Board of Directors officially approved the release of a joint policy brief with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) offering recommendations on how best to assist school leaders in implementing new teacher evaluation systems.
The brief, titled “Supporting Principals in Implementing Teacher Evaluation Systems: Recommendations from practicing principals to improve instruction and learning,” is the work of a joint committee formed by NAESP and NASSP in November to review current research and literature on the impact that new teacher evaluation systems are having on principals across the country. (more…)
Guest post by Anthony Scannella and Sharon McCarthy:
Which do you think helps individuals and systems flourish during these transformational times: a bit of risk, a bit of failure and a good deal of feedback–or safely doing what has always been done? If you favor risk, failure and feedback, please read on. If you choose safety in complacency, save yourself some time and make a different decision.
We define effective feedback as a tool that supports professional growth in your school or system. But before we talk about what makes feedback effective, it is essential to consider the much celebrated belief that “there is no such thing as failure—only feedback.” In theory, this is supposed to help our egos cope with our mistakes. In reality, most of us secretly hope to be told how amazing our teaching or leading is, and hearing otherwise makes us both uncomfortable and defensive. Keep that very real human tendency in mind when sharing feedback.
Below are 8 suggestions for leaders whose focus is growth, in folks and in systems:
- Ask others how they prefer to receive the feedback. This is the baseline for respect.
- Know that while sharing feedback will help you and your colleagues improve, it will also cause most folks to squirm a bit—that is OK.
- Differentiate feedback based on the rating of the performance. (Please see: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-15/the-ideal-praise-to-criticism-ratio.html)
- Provide feedback in a way that caters to the receiver’s value system. People pay attention more to things they find important.
- Follow feedback basics: Feedback should be timely, specific, actionable, and connected to goals and practice.
- Create a structure for feedback—one that consistently communicates how things are going.
- Keep in mind that people generally change their behavior when provided with an environment that encourages change and specific cognitive maps that outline a “plan” in their heads. Therefore, the onus is on the leader/evaluator to ensure that the environment and maps, which Art Costa refers to as “mental rehearsals,” are clearly communicated in a culture of high expectations. (Costa, Arthur & Garmston, R. Cognitive Coaching. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, 1994.)
- Remain keenly aware of the fact that the meaning of your communication is the response that it elicits, regardless of your intentions. As many have experienced, the intended message is not always the received message.
How educational leaders model the practice of effective feedback for teachers not only helps teachers in improving their own performance but also provides mental models of effective practices for teachers to use with their own students. Feedback matters in every relationship in the schoolhouse! Synthesizing more than 900 educational meta-analyses, researcher John Hattie has found that effective feedback is among the most powerful influences on how people learn. (John Hattie, Know Thy Impact. Educational Leadership, Feedback for Learning, September 2012, Vol. 70, No. 1.)
Please join us at Ignite’14 to share thoughts and practices regarding this most fundamental of educational practices for positive transformation.
Anthony Scannella (@edufea, email@example.com) and Sharon McCarthy (@ienvision, firstname.lastname@example.org) will present Sustainable Results for Great Schools on Saturday, February 8 at Ignite ’14. For more information visit www.nasspconference.org.