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New teacher appraisal system pilot proposed for next school year

By Carolina Astrain
April 16, 2013 at 7:05 p.m.
Updated April 16, 2013 at 11:17 p.m.


Framework For Teaching

These are a few examples of how cognitive challenges would be discussed and measured under the newly proposed pilot appraisal system that may be launched at Patti Welder Middle School for the 2013-2014 school year.

Low cognitive

challenge,

predominantly

recitation.

Example: teacher points to PowerPoint slide and

asks, "What does this

say?

Some questions reflect

moderate cognitive

challenge.

Example: teacher asks mix of higher-order questions

and questions with single

correct answers.

Variety of questions

challenge students and

advance high-level

thinking/discourse.

Ex: Most of teacher's

questions are open-ended, as, 'What might have happened if the colonies had not prevailed in the American War for Independence?'

In addition to

indicators in proficient

column, students

initiate higher-order

questions.

Example: a student asks of

other students, 'Does

anyone have another idea

as to how we might figure

this out?'

Source: MetProject.org

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: Victoria School District regular board meeting

• WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday

• WHERE: 102 Profit Drive

• COST: Free, open to the public

IN OTHER BUSINESS

Victoria school district board is also expected to review and approve the following agenda items:

• The submission of a low attendance day waiver for Mission Valley Elementary School and William Wood Elementary School

• The current magnet campus designations for Smith, Hopkins, O'Connor, Shields, Rowland, F.W. Gross, Crain and Dudley elementary schools; and Patti Welder Middle School.

Source: VISD

Patti Welder Middle School may become one of 50 campuses across Texas to test a new teacher appraisal system called "Framework for Teaching."

At Thursday's Victoria school board meeting, trustees are expected to discuss and take action on the proposed pilot appraisal system for the 2013-14 school year.

The principals at Patti Welder will use the new system alongside the current appraisal system, the "Professional Development and Appraisal System, which has been in place since the mid-90s, said VISD spokeswoman Diane Boyett.

The new observation system was developed based on public comments, said Debbie Graves Ratcliffe, director of media relations for the Texas Education Agency.

"People were urging us to update our teacher evaluation system," Ratcliffe said. "We're looking for a new performance evaluation that will be able to reflect the higher standards we now have in our schools."

Half of the schools participating in the pilot program are underperforming, Title I grant recipients, said Ratcliffe.

Under the current evaluation system, teachers are graded on eight areas of their instruction.

But under the "Framework for Teaching" appraisal system, teachers will be graded on four areas, including planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities.

"Our intent is for districts to utilize a robust, meaningful observation rubric," Ratcliffe wrote in an email. "Once the pilot ends, the selection of an evaluation model is a district decision."

During the second year of the pilot program, the TEA will require districts to get board approval before finalizing their decision.

"Districts participating in the pilot incur no costs," Ratcliffe wrote. "With respect to any costs proceeding after the pilot, we are still in the development stages and those decisions have not been finalized."

Patti Welder Middle School sixth-grade social studies teacher Diana Beran said she believes the current system under PDSA has been adequate.

"It's working," Beran said. "I've never had a problem with it."

The proposed pilot appraisal plan does not seem problematic, said Dwight Harris, vice president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers Victoria chapter.

"Teachers usually don't have a problem with the instrument of an appraisal," Harris said. "It's usually the process they have a problem with."

Justin Cox, assistant principal at Patti Welder, said his campus has been sampling the proposed pilot system since late October.

"It's really user-friendly and helps teachers grade themselves," Cox said. "That way, they can see what their strengths and weaknesses may be and gives them a better idea of where they can grow."

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