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Educator Effectiveness Project

Educator Effectiveness Project Overview

The effectiveness systems for teachers, educational specialists, and principals include a method to assess teaching and leadership practice as well as multiple measures designed to tell us that educators, through best practice, have demonstrated a positive impact on student achievement.  The practice portion of the evaluation system for teachers has been developed and is currently being piloted in a number of school districts across the state.  The clinical observation/practice portion of the evaluation system for educational specialists and principals will be piloted in school districts during the 2012-2013 school year.  The multiple measures portion of the teacher, educational specialist, and principal evaluation systems is under development.

The clinical observation/practice portion of teacher evaluation includes four areas, also referred to as “Domains,” that consist of:

  • Planning and Preparation
  • Classroom Environment
  • Instruction
  • Professional Responsibilities. 

Within these domains, there are clearly defined teaching skills, also referred to as competencies, as well as specific examples of how these skills are effectively executed. 

These pieces provide evaluators with the necessary information to effectively observe teaching practice and provide meaningful feedback.  Data collection tools like Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching help evaluators collect evidence and make determinations about how well the observed teaching skill aligns with the Framework for Teaching.  The Framework for Teaching provides a manageable set of competencies and describes them with sufficient specificity to allow evaluators to score reliably.  Similar structures can be established to address the essential competences to drive effective practice for educational specialists and principals. 

Research has also demonstrated that the second greatest in-school factor affecting student achievement is the principal.  Therefore, Pennsylvania is developing a new Principal Effectiveness Instrument that will provide data regarding the practices of the principal and various outputs involving student and building achievement.  

The clinical observation/practice segment of the principal evaluation instrument consists of four domains: 

  • Strategic/Cultural Leadership
  • Managerial Leadership
  • Leadership for Learning
  • School and Community Leadership

One of the greatest potentials of observation lies in its use as a professional development tool for educators: teachers, educational specialists, and principals.  To optimize that potential, professional development should be aligned with the individual needs of educators based on their needs and evaluation results.  Evidence from research suggests that such individualized feedback can lead to better outcomes for students.