FPS to adopt new teacher evaluation system

Administrators with Fulton Public Schools will be using a new program to evaluate their teachers’ performances during the 2012-13 school year.

The Fulton School Board voted to approve purchase of the electronic University of Missouri College of Education’s Educator Professional Growth System. According to information in the board packet, the professional growth system is designed “to improve the effectiveness of educators by clearly identifying where each educator stands in relation to specific measurable indicators and by providing support to the educators and their supervisors to move the educator forward in professional practice.”

Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Hull told the board she and Bush Elementary School Principal Lynne Engle visited Ashland Middle School — one of the pilot schools for the program — this fall and were impressed with what they saw.

“It was one of those wow moments — we knew this is what we need,” Hull said.

The Educator Professional Growth System requires teachers to be evaluated using multiple measures — student achievement, classroom observation, unit of instruction, professional development plans and student survey — to fairly assess teacher performance. Hull said what she likes about the system — which recommends multiple unscheduled 8-10-minute classroom visits — is that it has an established point system administrators can use to rate teachers in areas such as classroom management.

“If there’s an area they score low in, there’s a drop-down box that shows all of the professional development in the state that can help that teacher get better (in that particular area),” Hull said. “You can also see how you compare to other teachers in the state.

“It’s going to be useful information, helpful to teachers as well.”

The district will have the ability to identify seven to 10 different teaching standards for teachers to be evaluated on, with the option to also identify more specific standards for individual teachers based on the grade level and subjects they teach.

“It can also identify a new teacher and identify what your expectations are for classroom management for example, versus for a teacher who has been with the district for a long time,” Hull said.

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