January 2012 Archives

The State of Teacher Evaluation: Part 2

Yesterday, I shared some interesting facts from the National Council on Teacher Quality's (NCTQ) October 2011 report, "State of the States: Trends and Early Lessons on Teacher Evaluation and Effectiveness Policies" about the evolution of state educator evaluation systems over the past few years. In particular, we learned that between 2009 and 2011, 33 states changed their teacher evaluation policies. This left me thinking about what has happened with evaluation policy in the other 17 states since NCTQ released their report. After considerable research, I found that there have been some dramatic changes. Here are a few updates: • Hawaii: Hawaii...


The State of Teacher Evaluation: Part 1

Evaluation is by far the hottest topic in education at the moment. Every (and I mean every) conversation I have about schools with a person outside of the education community eventually circles around to how best to gauge the performance of teachers and principals. Likewise, every district talent manager or other education leader I run into wants to discuss the state educator evaluations. Questions like, "What is a good teacher worth?", "How many times should someone be evaluated in a year?", "Should teachers have tenure?", "What types of measures should be used to look at total performance", and "Can we ...


What is TIF & Why Should Your District Care?

Over the past three years, I've had the pleasure of working, in one way or another, with more than 42 school districts that have received a federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant. TIF grants are designed to support state level departments of education, districts, charter schools, or non-profit organizations (in partnership with a state, district, or charter) with the design, implementation, evaluation, and continuous improvement of evaluation and strategic compensation systems that identify and reward teachers or principals for developing specific skills, knowledge or abilities; holding leadership roles; exceptional performance; or for working in hard-to-staff subjects or in high-need schools. ...


What Makes a Great Talent Manager?

Last week, Ron Ashkenas wrote a piece on Harvard Business Review called, "Stop Bashing HR," in which he discusses why HR is important and how it can add value to an organization. He begins this article with several quotes from HBR readers who expressed a less than favorable view of HR in response to another blog from Brian Hults of Rubbermaid, "Why HR Really Does Add Value." Here is a sample: "I have yet to see HR add value to any organization." "[HR] is more often an obstacle that needs to be navigated to complete real business processes." "The fact ...


Talent Manager Suggested Reading

I spend a great deal of time reading, researching, and exploring new ways to integrate HR practices in schools. I have found that while there are numerous books written by human resource and talent management professionals, there are very few that focus specifically on HR in education. One of these books is "Strategic Management of Human Capital in Education: Improving Instructional Practice and Student Learning in Schools" by Dr. Allan Odden. I would encourage any K-12 talent manager to check it out. I have never met Dr. Odden, but his reputation in education precedes him. He has published research on ...


What My 7th Grade Science Teacher Taught Me About Talent Management

I had a fantastic middle school science teacher, Mrs. McLean, who retired last year after nearly 30 years in the classroom. (Such a shame for the district, but well deserved!) She was not afraid to go outside the box and get messy to enhance the learning experience for her students. She blew things up during class experiments and dropped objects off the school roof to make her lessons more engaging. She took us on field trips and supported her students in extracurricular activities. She also gave students compliments in class and pulled them aside to offer encouragement if she thought ...


Teacher Evaluations & MET Project Findings

Today, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released, "Gathering Feedback for Teaching: Combining High-Quality Observations with Student Survey and Achievement Gains," which summarizes the most recent findings from the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project. MET, funded by Gates Foundation, is a partnership of more than 3,000 public school teachers and independent research partners working to investigate "better ways to identify and develop effective teaching" to help improve educator evaluation, feedback, and professional development. This research group includes Teachscape, the National Board for Professional Teaching, Westat, the American Institutes for Research, RAND, the National Math and Science Initiative, Educational Testing ...


Understanding Educator Compensation Systems

One area of talent management that piques my interest (and an issue that I spend a great amount of time working on with districts across the country) is compensation. On December 31, 2011, the New York Times published an article, "In Washington, Large Rewards in Teacher Pay." It highlights the work of one of Washington, D.C.'s finest educators, Tiffany Johnson, but also compares "merit pay systems" in four districts across the country: District of Columbia Public Schools, Denver Public Schools, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and the Houston Independent School District. There are more and more articles being written ...


The opinions expressed in K-12 Talent Manager are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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