2010-04-01 / News

New teacher evaluation model proposed for 2011

By Eileen M. Daly

Teacher performance – and the methods with which that performance is evaluated – was a topic of discussion during last Thursday’s meeting of the Jamestown School Committee.

Superintendent Marcia Lukon presented a summary of the March 18 meeting of the Commissioner’s Forum for Rhode Island Superintendents to the committee.

Lukon said that a new state model for teacher evaluation will be implemented in September, 2011. The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) is expected to develop a model evaluation based on existing R.I. standards.

Districts will not be required to adopt this model; however, all models will be required to meet the evaluation standards and requirements outlined by RIDE in order to receive approval.

The vision for teacher evaluations in Rhode Island is one based on 51% of data that link educator effectiveness to student achievement, Lukon said.

Data from numerous sources, including New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) scores, Developmental Reading Assessments (DRA), Advanced Placement test scores and survey results – among other measures – will be used to determine teacher assignments and compensation.

RIDE will phase into the 51% requirement over the course of three years, beginning with 40% in the first year, Lukon said.

Teachers will have some say in the process, but will not be evaluating other teachers alone and – under the new guidelines – no student will be assigned to an ineffective teacher for two consecutive years. RIDE plans to begin training administrators on evaluations based on the new standards during the next school year. Administrator evaluations will also be based on the 51% model combined with leadership data, Lukon said.

Lukon also reported that two RIDE-sponsored symposiums on evaluation have been scheduled in the upcoming months.

On April 29, Alan Oden from the University of Wisconsin, along with other experts, will speak about teacher evaluation in relation to the R.I. model. On May 27, another RIDE symposium will be held to address compensation structures tied to evaluation and teacher effectiveness.

The RIDE I-Plan requirements – I-Plans are independent learning plans that teachers use to meet their certification requirements – will offi cially end on Aug. 31, 2010 and a new certification process will be introduced by January, 2011, Lukon said.

In other news, Lukon reported that she has received notification that Jamestown will receive $41,549.58 in Federal Impact Aid for this fiscal year, which will help to offset the increased number of military students at the high school this year. But she cautioned that allocations differ each year and, she said, Jamestown cannot count on receiving an equivalent amount in upcoming years.

Still, the news was welcome in light of early indications that there will be an increased number of military students attending Jamestown Schools and North Kingstown High School in FY 2011.

In other business:

• Melrose School Principal Carole Melucci reported some uplifting news from the fourth grade: Fourth-grader Michela Colognese won the Rhode Island postcard contest recently held during Youth Art Month. The contest is held yearly and this year’s theme was “Rhode Island Creates Healthy Lifestyles,” Melucci said.

• Fourth-grade teacher Charlene Tuttle has been nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. This prestigious award identifies the very best of the profession, Melucci said, noting that the application process is rigorous.

• Principal Melucci also reported on upcoming Reading Week events to be held April 5-9. These events will include a daily “drop everything and read” announcement, the development of a 2010 “My Favorite Book” library reference guide consisting of student-drawn pictures, a school-wide favorite book vote, guest readers from the community, URI athletes reading to students during library time and the display of a bar graph of the amount of student at-home reading times.

• The committee approved the appointment of Michaela Rupp as part-time ELL teacher and the appointment of Michael Winkler as the boys’ baseball coach. The committee also approved teacher Karyn Kauffman’s request for a parental leave and accepted the resignation of Barbara Davis, school committee clerk/stenographer.

The next workshop meeting of the Jamestown School Committee will be tonight, Thursday, April 1. The next business meeting will be Thursday, April 15. All meetings begin at 7 p.m. in the Lawn Avenue School Library.

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