Rethinking Teacher Supervision and EvaluationDudley-Charlton – Kim Marshall – April 29, 2011
Your role? • Principal • Assistant principal • Teacher • Union official • Instructional coach • District official • Consultant • Education advocate • University or college • Other 10
Approximate FRPL of your students • 0-10% • 11-20% • 21-30% • 31-40% • 41-50% • 51-60% • 61-70% • 71-80% • 81-90% • 91-100% 9 Answer Now
What are the two biggest factors in achievement in low-SES schools? • Differences in class size • Strict discipline • Sense of mission • School leadership • Teaching practices • Curriculum content • Parent involvement • PD, coaching • Teachers’ credentials • Staff morale 8
As a teacher, which two most improvedyour teaching and your students’ learning? • Ideas from books, articles • PD workshops in school • Workshops and courses outside school • Supervision suggestions from administrators • End-of-year evaluation by administrators • Ideas and suggestions from fellow teachers • Ideas and suggestions from loved ones • Internet resources • Figuring it out myself • Other 7
Evaluation has become a polite, if near-meaningless matter between a beleaguered principal and a nervous teacher. Research has finally told us what many of us suspected all along: that conventional evaluation, the kind the overwhelming majority of American teachers undergo, does not have any measurable impact on the quality of student learning. In most cases, it is a waste of time. Mike Schmoker, 1992 Except for a few instances, the traditional evaluation process is exhausting and fruitless. Kathleen Elvin, Brooklyn principal, 2008 Principal evaluation of teachers is a low-leverage strategy for improving schools, particularly in terms of the time it requires of principals. Richard DuFour & Robert Marzano, 2009
Answer Now! Your reaction to these statements? • Strongly Agree • Agree • Neutral • Disagree • Strongly Disagree 6
Widget Effect – New Teacher Project • Chicago teacher ratings 2003-08 on 4-point scale: • Superior – 25,332 • Excellent – 9,176 • Satisfactory – 2,232 • Unsatisfactory – 149 • Elgin teacher ratings 2003-08 on 3-point scale: • Excellent – 2,035 • Satisfactory – 264 • Unsatisfactory – 11 • Denver ratings 2005-08 on binary scale: • 2,374 Satisfactory • 32 Unsatisfactory
A summary • Quality of teaching is hugely important to kids’ futures. • Especially is they have any kind of disadvantage. • 99% of U.S. teachers are rated Excellent or Satisfactory. • But there’s plenty of mediocre and ineffective teaching. • We’re not differentiating excellent, good, mediocre, poor • A mediocre hotel isn’t a big deal, but with teaching… • We’re not helping mediocre/unsatisfactory teachers… • And the evaluation system is exhausting principals.
Saints, cynics, and sinners • Saints spend 6+ hours per teacher. • Pre-observation conference, observation, write-up, post-conference • Cynics bang out observations/evaluations. • Tedious, won’t make much difference, but… • Sinners don’t do them (except when the heat is on). • Usually get away with it
Answer Now! Which category describes the principal you know best? • Saint • Cynic • Sinner 5
The $64,000 Question • Could a saint’s school have low student achievement? • The story of one principal in New York City • Could a sinner’s school have high student achievement?
The challenge • How can principals sample teaching accurately? • Positively influence teaching? • Assure quality teaching in every class, every day? • Boost learning for all students? • Is this humanly possible?
How to supervise this kind of work? • Police departments have a similar challenge • Very difficult to keep tabs on police officers • How do you make sure they’re doing the right thing all the time? • How do you motivate them to do want to do the right thing all the time? • Rigid policies and procedures – “officer-proof” • Supervisors cruising around checking up • Compstat – using crime statistics, arrests - results • Video cameras in patrol cars
Teachers are on their own 99.9% of the time; many are great, many are not. What to do? • Hire more administrators to evaluate more frequently • “Master Educators” from central to evaluate teachers • Evaluate teachers using value-added test scores • Wyoming proposal: once-a-year videotaping • Cameras monitoring classrooms all the time • Student input; parent input • A 4-year evaluation cycle • Trust in teachers’ professionalism • Prayer
Logic model – how it could work • A shared definition of good teaching • Principals see everyday teaching in action. • Principals are knowledgeable and perceptive observers. • Principals have an effective way to give feedback. • Principals address mediocre and ineffective teaching. • Teachers hear and accept the feedback. • Teachers take ownership for student learning.
A. A shared definitionof good teaching • Every district has criteria in its evaluation form. • Required presentation to teachers, sign-off • But does everyone pay attention, buy in? • A common problem: defining just one level.
Answer Now! Is there agreement on good teachingin your school? • We all agree on what excellent, good, mediocre, poor teaching looks like. • We agree on what good teaching looks like. • There are some disparities within the school. • There are many different opinions on what good teaching is. 7
Teachers are immune to feedback from a coach or administrator when they have different definitions of quality. The single most important thing that a school leader can do is reach agreement with the staff about quality. Fisher and Frey, 2010
B. Principals see everyday reality • Factors that make this difficult: • H.S.P.S. – evaluation avoided, procrastinated • Principals see only 0.1% of teaching • The principal’s presence changes things. • Announced observations, “glamorized” lessons A “collusive deal” – utterly bogus Restaurant owner’s concerns… • It’s what teachers do every day that boosts learning. • Like healthy eating, exercise – keeping it up
It has been said that when a principal walks into a room, it has the same effect as seeing a state trooper pull out onto the highway – the students straighten up and “take their foot off the gas”, even if they weren’t speeding (er, misbehaving).Peter Hall, Nevada principal (2005)
In your school, how many formal teacher evaluation visitsare announced in advance? • All of them • About 75% • About half • About 25% • None of them 6
In defense of pre-announced visits “I want to see teachers at their best.” “It is my firm belief that mediocre teachers will hang themselves whether announced or unannounced.” “I have never met a bad teacher who didn’t look horrible despite an announced visit.”
C. Principals are knowledgeable and perceptive observers of teaching • A shared definition of good teaching helps. • So does knowledge of curriculum goals, calendar, ideas • Touring classrooms with thoughtful colleagues helps. • Best of all: being in classrooms a lot, talking to teachers, and looking at student learning. • Most principals don’t do enough of this.
D. An effective way to give feedback • Often low-quality forms, checklists • Teacher signs, files away – little impact • High skill level needed to do good lesson write-ups. • Lots of words without clear judgment, feedback. • Plus it’s time-consuming, exhausting for principals • Some principals have teachers draft their evaluations. • Some cut corners, paste in boilerplate
Your opinion of your district’send-of-year teacher evaluation form? • Excellent tool that improves teaching • Good feedback tool • Not bad but doesn’t affect teaching much • Poor tool that doesn’t capture good teaching or help teachers improve 6
Problematic models • Narratives – verbiage without impact • Teacher goal-setting – very hard to follow up • Checklists – perfunctory, don’t distinguish 4-3-2-1 • Quality descriptions with no rubric • Binary ratings – Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory • Three-point scales: • Excellent • Satisfactory • Unsatisfactory • Five-point scales: “Gentleman’s C”
E. Principals step up to the plate onmediocre and ineffective teaching • Some don’t push teachers to be better. • Want to keep the peace, avoid conflict, be liked • Fear of grievances, lengthy proceedings • Afraid of jeopardizing other initiatives. • Wait for them to retire. • And some teachers are scary…
F. Teachers hear andaccept the feedback • Can be overwhelming – too much feedback to absorb • Many teachers shrug off criticism. • Lots of reasons to ignore a principal: • You’re hardly ever in my room. • You haven’t taught in years. • You never taught my grade level/subject. • You don’t have children of your own. • I was having a bad day. • Criticism makes some teachers shut down…
G. Teachers take ownershipfor student learning • Many teachers work in isolation. • Little ownership for the school’s mission • For many, evaluation is paternalistic, top-down. • Impressing, charming, getting over on boss • It’s about instructional inputs, which are debatable. • How to instill intrinsic motivation? • Get teachers focused on learning, finding the most effective methods and materials, always improving?
Dependency Results • Paternalistic • Glamorized lessons • Winning the boss’s approval • “I liked when you…” • Lesson plans turned in • Data analysis because we have to • CYA • Working in isolation • Shared vision, mission • Team unit planning • On-the-spot assessments • Common interim assessments • Immediate team analysis, action plans • Supervisory voice in head all the time • Continuously improving
In short,the logic model isn’t working No school effectiveness lists include supervision/eval. Marzano, DuFour, Saphier: a “weak lever” for change Core problem: full-lesson evaluations that are infrequent, announced, time-consuming, not focused on results Lots of mediocre, ineffective teaching under the radar How can we get good teaching in every class, every day? Here’s my 4-part proposal…
I. MINI-OBSERVATIONS • Principals need a system for: • Getting into classrooms • Seeing everyday reality • Giving teachers meaningful feedback • Continuously improving student learning • Gathering data for year-end evaluations • Many are racked with guilt about not doing this.
Mini-observations: systematic,frequent sampling and coaching • Short visits to fit them in to very busy days • Unannounced to see what kids are experiencing daily • Lots of them to sample all aspects of teaching, blend in • Prompt, thoughtful feedback to each teacher • Informal and low-stakes to maximize adult learning • Systematic cycling through the whole staff • Integrated with team unit planning and results analysis
Still not much time, but… • Much more representative than one dog-and-pony • A random sampling is amazingly accurate. • And this is as much as most principals can do. • My challenge: What’s the alternative? • We still rely on teachers’ professionalism, skill. • But by frequently checking in and giving feedback • Message: It’s what you do every day that matters.
About how often is the average teacher visited and given feedback in your school? • Never • Once every two years • Once a year • Twice a year • 3-5 times a year • 6-8 times a year • About once a month • About every two weeks • Once every week • More than once a week 5 Answer Now
Why not call them “walk-throughs”? • Confusion with learning walks - a team touring the whole building, general feedback (Resnick, Elmore) • The wrong term for a focused, thoughtful observation with feedback – sounds to teacherslike a drive-by. • Video clip Safety walk-through Showing the flag Learning walk/ Instructional rounds Mini-observations Full-lesson observation