Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 31, 2013

Lawrence adopting teacher evaluation system it has tested

The Independent

LOUSIA — Lawrence County schools are embracing a new state teacher evaluation system they have been pilot testing for two years now.

The school board earlier this week signaled its intent with a declaration of intent to adopt the Kentucky Professional Growth and Effectiveness System.

The system takes into account class observations, peer review and student work.

It is designed to assess teacher planning and preparation, the classroom environment, the instruction itself, the teacher’s professional responsibilities and student growth, said pupil personnel director Vernon Hall.

The assessments are made chiefly through observation, which includes peers as well as administrators. The peer observers are teachers who go through training to be able to provide supportive and constructive advice, Hall said.

The evaluations look at student growth as the true measure of teaching effectiveness. Students also will be surveyed to provide their own input.

The three-year Measures of Effective Teaching study found that including such information is a better way to identify good teachers, according to the study report.

The evaluations also identify areas where teachers need to improve.

The system is a product of the waiver Kentucky received a year ago from some provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

To qualify for the waiver, schools must enact comprehensive evaluation systems for teachers and principals. Districts may develop their own plans or adopt the state plan, Hall said. However, individual district plans will have to meet state requirements.

Pilot districts, including Lawrence, will continue testing the system, which the state is scheduling for complete implementation in the 2013-2014 school year.

Other northeast Kentucky districts piloting the plan include Boyd and Carter counties.

MIKEā€ˆJAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.