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Teachers: Getting to the Bottom of "Good". 2010 ASBSD & SASD Convention Dr. Melody Schopp August 13, 2010. Today’s Goals. Update on Teacher Standards and Evaluation Workgroup Understanding of the need for Teaching Standards Understanding of how Teaching Standards affect Evaluation

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Teachers getting to the bottom of good

Teachers: Getting to the Bottom of "Good"

2010 ASBSD & SASD Convention

Dr. Melody Schopp

August 13, 2010

Today s goals

Today’s Goals

  • Update on Teacher Standards and Evaluation Workgroup

  • Understanding of the need for Teaching Standards

  • Understanding of how Teaching Standards affect Evaluation

  • A few words of wisdom

What we attempt to do to ensure quality teachers

What We Attempt to do to Ensure Quality Teachers?

  • Teacher preparation programs give teachers an adequate foundation.

  • District level mentorship and induction programs provide support in beginning years.

  • Ongoing professional development attempts to deepen teachers' skills and keep them current.

Ensuring teacher quality

Ensuring Teacher Quality

  • Nonetheless, the fact remains that none of these steps completely ensures every teacher is meeting what is required of them.

  • Thus the need to set standards for teacher evaluation to guarantee that:

    • Teachers are performing at the highest level possible, and

    • To intervene where teachers are not.

Ensuring teacher quality1

Ensuring Teacher Quality

We need to identify the instructional practices necessary for effective beginning teaching, and the knowledge and skills needed to carry out those practices.

Additionally, we need to develop best materials, tools, and resources for training teachers, and valid assessments to measure candidates’ progress and certify their readiness for practice.

Why we need standards

Why We Need Standards

  • It is difficult to establish a teacher evaluation system without widely agreed-upon standards for “good teaching.”

  • Definition needs to include:

    • subject-matter mastery

    • pedagogical skill (good teaching)

    • responsibility for improving student achievement

    • larger role of the teacher within the school.

What we know about teachers and teaching

What We Know About Teachers and Teaching

  • 3.6 million teachers

    • Largest profession

    • Nursing is smaller by 2/3

  • Difficult and intricate work

    • Yet we lack precise language for core practices

    • Performance standards are weakly defined

Effective teaching

Effective Teaching

  • A teacher’s effectiveness has more impact on student learning than any other factor to include:

    • Class size

    • School size

    • Quality of after school program

    • Demographics of students


Teachers getting to the bottom of good

Effective teaching may be the hardest job there is.

  • William Glasser



  • Two similar bills brought to 2010 Legislature

    • HB 1175 sponsored by Representative Sly

    • SB 24 sponsored by DOE

  • All educational groups supported and collaborated to come to consensus along with Representative Sly

  • SB 24 passed Senate 33-1 and House 58 – 12

Senate bill 24

Senate Bill 24

  • Section 1. The Board of Education shall, no later than July 1, 2011, promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 to establish minimum professional performance standards for certified teachers in South Dakota public schools, and to establish best practices for the evaluation of the performance of certified teachers that may be used by individual school districts.

Required evaluation

Required Evaluation

  • Section 2. Any public school district seeking state accreditation shall evaluate the performance of each certified teacher in years one through three not less than annually, and each certified teacher in the fourth contract year or beyond, not less than every other year.

Requirements for evaluation

Requirements for Evaluation

 Each school district shall adopt procedures for evaluating the performance of certified teachers employed by the school district that:

            (1)    Are based on the minimum professional performance standards established by the Board of Education pursuant to section 1 of this Act;

            (2)    Require multiple measures;

            (3)    Serve as the basis for programs to increase professional growth and development of certified teachers; and

            (4)    Include a plan of assistance for any certified teacher, who is in the fourth or subsequent year of teaching, and whose performance does not meet the school district's performance standards.



Section 3. A work group appointed by the secretary of education shall provide input in developing the standards and shall develop a model evaluation instrument that may be used by school districts.

Workgroup makeup

Workgroup Makeup

The work group shall consist of the following:

            (1)    Six teachers: two from an elementary school, two from a middle school, and two from a high school;

            (2)    Three principals: one from an elementary school, one from a middle school, and one from a high school;

            (3)    Two superintendents;

            (4)    Two school board members;

            (5)    Four parents who have students in various levels of the K-12 system:

            (6)    One representative of the South Dakota Education Association;

            (7)    One representative of the School Administrators of South Dakota; and

            (8)    One representative of the Associated School Boards of South Dakota.

Nonrenewal rights continue

Nonrenewal Rights Continue

  • Section 4. Nothing in this Act may diminish a school district's right to not renew a teacher's contract pursuant to § 13-43-6.3. (Nonrenewal of teacher's contract)

Overview of work to date

Overview of work to date:


What is a standard

What is a Standard?

Noun: something considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis of comparison; an approved model.

Adjective: serving as a basis of weight, measure, value, comparison, or judgment.

Initial discussion

Initial Discussion

  • Understand what performance standards for teaching mean

  • Understand how standards influence evaluation

  • Determine criteria for standards – should they look the same for beginning and experienced teachers?

A standards conversation

A Standards Conversation

What do you believe every teacher should know and be able to do?

A standards conversation1

A Standards Conversation

Do you believe that teachers should be able to know and do the same things regardless of their experience?

Review of the research

Review of the Research

  • Charlotte Danielson

  • Ed Porthan

  • InTASC Standards

Teachers getting to the bottom of good

If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job.

  • Donald D. Quinn

Current evaluation

Current Evaluation

Evaluation systems rarely take into account the full range of what teachers do or the context in which they teach.

In the absence of useful feedback, most teachers’ performance plateaus by their third or fourth year on the job.

Everyone loses as a result

Teacher evaluation

Teacher Evaluation

  • There is no consistent agreement how to identify and measure effective “teaching”

    • Most often teacher evaluation does not provide meaningful feedback to help teachers improve

    • It does not supply supervisors with objective data to make assessments of a teacher’s strengths and weaknesses

    • Often based on characteristics not related to student achievement

Teacher evaluation1

Teacher Evaluation

  • Rarely related to any definition of quality teaching

    • Based instead on criteria that specify a variety of inputs

      • Courses taken

      • Test scores achieved

      • Principal checklists

      • Institutional degrees

        ……… Instead of teachers' actual performance!

Current evaluation1

Current Evaluation


Principal input


Basic: Principal observation and teacher “qualifications” determine rating



Teacher evaluation2

Teacher Evaluation

Policymakers increasingly are insisting that teacher-evaluation mechanisms link teachers' evaluations, promotions or salaries to student test results.

Other policymakers, along with many educators, insist that no meaningful assessment of a student's academic progress or a teacher's effectiveness can be made on the basis of standardized tests, especially a single test.

Teacher evaluation3

Teacher Evaluation

While some policymakers seek to hold individual teachers accountable for student achievement, other decision-makers as well as educators argue that a system of individual accountability – especially one that metes out rewards and sanctions – creates unhealthy competition among teachers and undermines collegiality.

Teacher evaluation4

Teacher Evaluation

As an alternative to individual accountability, another model holds teachers and school staff collectively accountable.

This model has been tested with the SDIF+ grant work.

Future scenario

Future Scenario

Robust: Multiple inputs anchored in student achievement determines effectiveness.

Teachers getting to the bottom of good

Modern cynics and skeptics... see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing. 

~John F. Kennedy

So why do we care

So Why Do We Care?


Getting to the bottom of good

Getting to the Bottom of "Good"

More meaningful


Better Student Outcomes

Targeted and meaningful PD

Multiple measures of effectiveness

Accurate teacher evaluation

More effective teachers

Strategic placement of teachers

Differential pay based on effectiveness

Teachers getting to the bottom of good

In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work.  It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years. 

~ Jacques Barzun

Teachers getting to the bottom of good

Contact Information:

Dr. Melody Schopp



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