November 6, 2012
TO: Michael Green, Superintendent
FROM: Asha Riley
RE: Director of Learning Monthly Update:
I look forward to sharing the summary of student achievement next Tuesday evening. Please see the attached report. Along with a look at our overall performance on state tests I look forward to sharing data specifically related to math achievement in our schools.
Common Core Standards Training::
Each building is moving forward to implement the common core standards. Our primary focus from English language arts standards has been on developing close reading skills in our students. Being able to closely read a text and effectively communicate about the content are embedded throughout the standards as key skills. In math we have targeted number and operation standards in the primary grades and proportional reasoning in the upper grades. These trainings will continue throughout the year.
New Teacher Evaluation:
Important new elements in the new teacher evaluation are the student growth goals. These goals are meant to connect teacher performance to student achievement/growth and have been a source of anxiety for many of our teachers. I recently met with staff on this topic and lead them through an exercise that emphasized effective formative assessment practices. Research shows that teachers who use formative assessments effectively see significant student growth results. Therefore, I framed these student growth goals to help teachers reflect on their formative assessment practices and become more effective with them. At the end of our training nearly all teachers who participated had written successful goals and will implement effective formative assessment practices to achieve their goals. I look forward to visiting with principals in the spring to discuss resulting student growth as measured by these goals. I have attached the goal templates and the power point for your reference.
Upcoming Teaching and Learning Web Page:
I am hopeful to introduce a new webpage before the Thanksgiving holiday. This page will host information about curriculum, assessment and instruction. I am hopeful this will become a common place for both staff and community members/parents to visit to learn more about teaching and learning. A particular focus will be paid to the new common core standards and the work we are doing to implement them.