Implementing a New Teacher Development and Evaluation System

September 2016

The research is clear: effective teachers make a significant difference in improving student outcomes. A primary mission of the Nashua School District must therefore be to support teachers in a process of ongoing improvement to become and remain effective teachers.

Background
 
In August of 2015 the Nashua Board of Education approved a new Teacher Development and Evaluation System (TDES), based on the recommendation of the District’s Teacher Development and Evaluation Committee. This Committee is comprised of ten members appointed by the Superintendent and ten members appointed by the Nashua Teachers' Union, recognizing the importance of collaboration between the administration and the Union in revising the current evaluation system. The work of the committee coincides with the recent release of a new state framework for teacher development and evaluation recommended by the NH Department of Education.
 
Full implementation of the new system begins in September 2015.  However, over time the Teacher Development and Evaluation Committee will continue to monitor implementation of the TDES and make recommendations for changes to the System to the Nashua Board of Education.
 
System Components
 
The TDES is built on two foundational elements: a shared understanding of effective teaching practices, and a growth mindset that recognizes teachers, like their students, can reach ever-higher levels of performance. Click here for an overview of the TDES. Based on these two foundational elements, key components of the system include:
 

  • An effective teacher rubric providing a detailed description of teaching practices through four successive levels of performance. Click here for a copy of the Effective Teaching Rubric.
  • A differentiated observation process providing ongoing opportunities for dialogue about teaching practices to facilitate growth for all teachers, including those who are already highly effective. Click here for a copy of the teacher observation process.
  • Sources of support, such as peer coaches and mentors, for continuous improvement for teachers at different places in their career.
  • Accountability, setting a minimum level of acceptable performance, while at the same time assuring supports are put into place for those teachers who may be struggling to meet minimum expectations.
  • High-quality training for all individuals evaluating teachers to create consistency in the observation and evaluation process.
  • A process for using aggregate data from evaluation outcomes to develop meaningful professional development programs at the district level that are planned collaboratively by teachers and administrators.


System Framework
 
The framework of the TDES, including both the effective teaching rubric and the mini-observation process, is drawn from the work of Kim Marshall and his book, Rethinking Teacher Supervision and Evaluation:  How to Work Smart, Build Collaboration, and Close the Achievement Gap.  Further information on the mini-observation process can be found in the handbook entitled “Mini-Observations: Moving From Inspection to Reflection” (Click here). 
 
The April 2015 edition (volume 72) of Communications Skills for Leaders includes a series of useful articles about leadership and communication supporting high-performing faculties and schools.  Click here to access these articles.
 
Contacting the Committee
 
If you would like to contact the Committee with a question, concerns or other feedback you can send an email, which will be shared with all Committee members.
 

Robin Peringer, Nashua High School South Teacher
Cornelia L. Brown, Interim Superintendent of Schools

Teacher Development and Evaluation Committee Co-chairs