Director of Learning Report

April 3, 2013


TO:     Michael Green, Superintendent

FROM:            Asha Riley

RE Director of Learning:

New Teacher Evaluation Update:

Recently I have been working with our administrative team to develop the tools we will need to have in place for next year’s new evaluation.  Presently we have drafts of the summative evaluation document, the teacher handbook, and lesson observation tools.  I recently attended a few conferences at the ESD 112 to gain more clarity on the summative evaluation scoring and have shared that information with our administrative team. It is my goal to have a final summative evaluation document and the teacher handbook finalized by the end of May.

Presently I am redesigning a web page regarding the new evaluation to post to our new Woodland School District website (the last one didn’t make it in the transition, but was getting to be dated anyway). Information on the new evaluation is now coming from the state more quickly as we get closer to implementation and I’d like staff to have access to the most accurate up to date information.

April 15th we are hosting a one hour meeting with all the required and voluntary teachers participating in the new evaluation next year.  The administrative team decided it was best to share our vision of the new evaluation model and answer questions together.

Assessment Operations:

I have followed up with each principal to discuss their state testing schedules and plans and provided each with the proctor training power point that they will present to all staff participating in testing. At this time we are awaiting a few more copies of the testing directions but in all things are going smoothly so far. I deeply appreciate the thorough planning in each building- it helps reduce test irregularities and possible errors impacting student performance.

Looking Ahead at Future District Assessments:

We have established healthy assessment practices in our district that are critical to continue. The difficulty we face as we switch to the new common core standards is that some of our current tests (math in particular) will no longer measure what we will be teaching in the future.  Therefore, I have made it a priority to research assessment tools that align with the common core standards when we implement them in 2015. I recently met with some state assessment leaders and attended a conference with them regarding assessments they have been developing. I was initially very excited by the potential of the assessments. However, after more examination I believe them to have well aligned questions, unfortunately they offer little insight into student learning as a majority of the questions are multiple choice questions. I also learned that the data base they use to provide the data analysis with is a bit overwhelming to teachers I interviewed. This caused me hesitation in light of all the changes teachers will face in the next couple of years (new online database for their new evaluation process, new evaluation process, and new standards to learn and teach). I don’t want a state data base meant to provide information easily to cause stress and anxiety as it could undermine their appreciation of the data the tests could provide.  As a result I am still in search of the right tools for our teachers. I have setup a meeting with an executive at the Assessment Training Institute in Portland to discuss what other options might be out there. The good news is there is a lot to choose from. I just need to keep digging to find what will best serve our instructional needs and that can be seamlessly implemented amidst the many shifts in our system.

Common Core Standards:

In March, Chris Wiseman, Mark Houk and I attended a workshop specially designed for administrators implementing the new common core math standards. I found it to be very insightful. We were able to walk away with some new information and guidance that will help inform our training plans for next year.  I plan to finalize the next phase of our training in April and meet with the common core design team to organize the details.

At this time I am pleased with the progress we’ve made with the training this year. We achieved our goals and have laid a good foundation of knowledge about the standards.