The Michigan Department of Education recently released data for the first year schools were required by state law to evaluate teachers and label them as either ineffective, minimally effective, effective or highly effective.
The evaluations consist of professional growth plans teachers complete to identify strategies that would improve student achievement, classroom observations and professional practice, Fruitport Community Schools Superintendent Bob Szymoniak explained.
“I think this process is very effective because it evaluates teachers from a positive orientation, encouraging their improvement,” he said.
During classroom visits, Szymoniak said principals look for a clear learning lesson, the amount students are engaged, and that they are using techniques such as teamwork and note taking.
For some schools, the required review changed evaluation categories from satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
Although teacher evaluations aren’t new for the Spring Lake school district, Superintendent Dennis Furton said the new criteria is rigorous.
“The result is that we’re having more and better conversations with staff about incrementally improving their teaching practice,” he said.
Scott Grimes, assistant superintendent of human services for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, said the new system also required them to change their evaluation criteria.
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