In February 2011 the MSAD #24 School District accepted a Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) Grant centered on improving educator effectiveness and student learning. The Grant is overseen by our 10 member District Steering Committee made up of teachers, administrators and school board members. The Steering Committee has worked on improvements in many areas including the development of a new teacher evaluation system.
The present teacher evaluation tool used in MSAD #24 was developed decades ago. This system provides little focus on instructional practice or student outcomes. As a result, we are looking to make a stronger connection between evaluation, national teaching standards, professional development, and student achievement.
The Steering Committee has developed a new model, the Teacher Evaluation and Professional Growth (TEPG) program, that addresses this vision for a new evaluation and professional growth system. Specifically, the evaluation tool will consider student growth and teacher performance related to the Five Core Propositions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The National Board was founded by teachers in 1985 in response to the educational shortcomings identified in the now well-known report, A Nation at Risk, published by the U.S. Department of Education in 1984. The National Board wrote the Core Propositions and 17 related standards and developed a national teacher certification process commonly referred to as National Board teacher certification.
Through ongoing professional development, teachers and administrators are learning about the Core Propositions (see Figure 1, next page) and related standards. The program development and refinement will take time, and will continue throughout the 5-year grant period. Teacher input and feedback will be crucial – and asked for – in order to fine-tune the tool and the overall system and assure that it is meeting its intended purposes.